In an effort to reach out to the Sikh community, U.S. First Lady Michelle Obama will travel to Wisconsin on August 23 to meet the victims and family members of the gurdwara shooting that left six worshippers dead.
The scheduled visit of Ms. Obama to Wisconsin is on August 23, the White House on Saturday said, adding that it was part of the Obama Administration’s reach out to the Sikh community, who were shattered by the Oak Creek Gurdwara shooting.
The Indian-American and Sikh communities have welcomed the White House announcement as a great gesture.
“It is great to hear that the First Lady will be comforting the families devastated by the violence in the gurdwara motivated by hate and it is unquestionably a kind gesture. “It is important that these families hear firsthand how she and the President feel about this terrible tragedy,” said Dr. Rajwant Singh, chairman of the Sikh Council.
“It is indeed critical that the top leadership acts in such a dignified manner to heal the raw wounds of the families and the entire Sikh community. Sikhs have come together as a family and these bullets had hit our hearts,” he said.
Mr. Singh said a visit by the First Lady will be reassuring and heartening and it will be powerful symbol of President Barack Obama embracing the Sikhs at this serious juncture. “A visit of this sort restores the faith of the nation and brings everyone together,” he said.
Six Sikh worshippers, including four Indian nationals, were killed when a white supremacist identified as Wade Michael Page went on a shooting rampage inside the gurdwara on August 5.
The shooting incident had shocked the entire nation and India as well, with the Sikh community terming it as an incident of hate crime.
Mr. Obama had called for some “soul-searching” after the incident.