Forging Partnerships and Building Understanding - #SikhSolidarity
August 24, 2012
Last night, 1,400 interfaith community members gathered at Boston's Trinity church to support the Sikh community in the wake of the terrible shooting at the Oak Creek Gurdwara on August 5. Below are tweets from the event, a sampling of photos from the service, and the speech given by JCRC Executive Director Jeremy Burton.
Remarks from JCRC Executive Director Jeremy Burton:
In 1790, when New England was a predominantly Protestant society, our first President, George Washington wrote to the Jewish community of Newport, Rhode Island.
His letter, in part:
The citizens of the United States of America have a right to applaud themselves for having given to mankind examples of an enlarged and liberal policy--a policy worthy of imitation.
... happily, the Government of the United States, which gives to bigotry no sanction, to persecution no assistance, requires only that they who live under its protection should demean themselves as good citizens...
…May the children of the stock of Abraham who dwell in this land continue to merit and enjoy the good will of the other inhabitants--while every one shall sit in safety under his own vine and fig tree and there shall be none to make him afraid.
For over two centuries our community has treasured this message as a foundation stone of the American character; as a nation that prides itself not only on our religious freedom but on our ability to practice our faith free from fear.
Throughout our history the Jewish community has fought for this freedom, for ourselves… and for others.
And in this moment, when some are attacked, we stand together with our brothers and sisters in the Sikh community. We extend our hand in solidarity.
We, our community, we offer our support.
This is why we are here today.
It is why so many of our member organizations are here and why the Anti Defamation League, is working with the Sikh community in Massachusetts and around the country offering trainings, empowering houses of worship to help them stay safe.
It is why we will be here with you tomorrow, and the next day.
We thank our partners in the Christian, Moslem & Sikh communities for inviting us to stand with you tonight & we recommit ourselves to the ideals that President Washington so well articulated…
…so that each of us may sit in safety under our vines.
Thank you and God bless.