Dozens of small flames flickered in the darkness outside the Sikh Temple of Spokane Tuesday night, while inside the gurdwara, families prayed, chanted, dined and lit candles together as they celebrated Diwali, known as the Festival of Lights.
In India during this time of year houses, shops and public places are decorated with diyas, or small oil lamps, to symbolize the victory of good over evil.
In August, when a gunman attacked a Sikh gudwara in Oak Creek, Wisc., police officer Lt. Brian Murphy was shot nine times. When rescuers came to his aid, he waived them away. According to a witness, "He had been shot nine times — one of them very serious in the neck area — and he waved them off and told them to go into the temple to assist those in there."
Spokane Valley’s quiet Sikh community has taken the spotlight this week after a gunman shot down six worshipers in Wisconsin on Aug. 5. On Wednesday The Sikh Temple of Spokane held a candlelight vigil in remembrance of those who died and tomorrow friends the Unitarian Universalist Church will join hands and form a “circle of protection” around the gurdwara at noon.