The following is Lt. Brian Murphy's address to the sangat of the Oak Creek Gurdwara on the first anniversary of the hate-crime shooting. See video.
I’m so happy to see so many people here today to give honor and rememberance to those who lost their lives last year. As you can tell, my voice is no longer what it was but like the other Sikh victims who lost their voice permanently, and mine (that) has been dimished, that voice has been replaced by everyone here.
The voice of Chardi Kalaa, the voice of going forward and moving ahead during the darkest times for all of us, especially my wife and I and my family. I was able to draw strength from the support you have provided me and I thank you from the bottom of my heart for all you have done.
What we look at now is the idea that we can remove the ignorance and blindness from people to see that underneath and externally we really are all the same, and all have the same type of beliefs that we’re here to serve our fellow man and to do the right thing for one another.
Last year I was blessed by God to be given an opportunity to serve the gurdwara and for that I will always be thankful regardless of what happened to me physically, it was a, I was able to open up more spiritually and get a better understanding. I can thank you for that.
And the one part that has struck me most of all is I was able to meet Baba Punjab Singh’s son yesterday. People have asked me about strength. And my strength is no way near the family of Baba Punjab Singh who stay 24 hours a day to be by his side. That is the essence of Chardi Kalaa, to stay and be relentless, and to fight the good fight.
My prayers and wishes go out to all the families of those who have departed. And, again, to Baba Punjab Singh, if I could give anything, it would be for you to be sitting in front of us today. Thank you and God bless.
Note: Punjab Singh was one of two Sikhs wounded by the gunman. He is still recovering.
From Sikh News Network archives.
Commentaries are the opinions of the authors, and not necessarily that of Sikh Free Press.