CENTRAL SQUARE – On Saturday, Nov. 23, Gobind Sadan, the Sikh Temple and Interfaith Meditation Center, 134 Graves Road in Central Square, will host a special gathering from 3 – 8 p.m. to celebrate the 18th anniversary of the response of forgiveness to the post 9-11 arson attack, which overcame the hatred, healed, transformed the lives of those involved and rebuilt a community of love.
In the midst of the blaze, the Holy Scripture, Guru Granth Sahib, did not burn.
This year is especially auspicious as they join the world-wide Sikh community in celebrating the 550th anniversary of Guru Nanak Dev ji, the founder of the Sikh tradition, who set the standard for a world without walls. “Everyone is part of my community, I see no one as an ‘other’” which formed the cornerstone of response.
Gobind Sadan was the site of an arson attack, two months after 9/11, by 4 local teenagers who mistook the Sikh’s turbans for followers of bin Ladan and were caught up in the hysteria.
Members of Gobind Sadan following their religious tradition forgave the attackers and still try to keep in contact with them today.
“At a time when our country and the world is deeply divided, let us gather and celebrate our shared values and commitment to making a better world for future generations,” said Ralph Singh, a founding member of Gobind Sadan and lead speaker.
Ralph Singh was recently invited to speak at a major celebration in Houston, Texas, and was able to also meet the family and offer a eulogy for Sandeep Singh Dhaliwal, the Sikh police officer killed in the line of duty.
Officer Dhaliwal was the first observant Sikh deputy in Harris County, Texas, and one of the first law enforcement officers nationwide to wear Sikh articles of faith, a beard and turban, while on duty.
While Sikhs are the 5th largest religious community worldwide, ignorance still leads to regular attacks on Sikh adults and bullying incidents against Sikh children.
Their teachings call on them to “Recognize everyone as one human race.”
The program is as follows:
3-4:30 Tea and Tour
4:30- 6 Program “Building a World without Walls:
Bringing Peace within Ourselves and the World”
6:30 – Sacred Music
8 p.m. Langar – Community Meal
Members of the various area communities who were active in the early rebuilding efforts will be present and recognized.