Vigil held as child heroes speak about Sikh shooting

August 8, 2012 8:09:55 PM PDT
Hundreds of people gathered in Union Square Wednesday night to mourn those who were killed during the shooting rampage at a Sikh temple in Wisconsin.

For the first time, the littlest heroes who were there when the shots rang out are sharing their story.

It is called the Ardas, the Sikh prayer of peace for the world, and hundreds came to union square tonight from all faiths to say it and to show their rejection of hate.

"Sikhs believe that this is not necessarily an attack on their community but an attack on our society in general, and so we wanted to unite all New Yorkers and say that we are not ok with this and we want to do something about it in general," said Simran Jeet Singh, Manhattan Sikh Association.

"(What were you scared of?) That he was going to kill everyone," said Amanat Singh, hero.

Amanat Singh and her brother were there at the temple in Oak Creek that morning, when Wade Michael Page began his rampage right in the line of fire.

"We heard a shot which we thought was a fireworks, but then it wasn't fireworks it was bullets," Amanat Singh said.

The children ran inside to warn the others.

"As soon as we got in the kitchen I started yelling like, 'There's a guy with a gun, hide, hide," Amanat's brother said.

That warning gave many time to escape.

"They saved my life, my wife, my daughter-in-law, many people," a man said.

"I feel proud because I saved lots of lives," Amanat Singh said.

She did. Some believe Page was targeting Muslims and was confused about Sikhs, a notion many at the vigil believe, misses the point.

"I am very skeptical of this idea that it is mistaken identity, because by that very phrase we imply that there is a correct identity that should be targeted and we absolutely don't believe that. An attack on a Muslim American is just heinous and just as detestable as an attack on a Sikh American or any other minority," Simran Jeet Singh said.

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