Sapreet Kaur: First Sikh To Offer Prayer At Presidential Inaugural Prayer Service


1947-2014 (Archived)
Jun 17, 2004
Executive Director Sapreet Kaur Becomes First Sikh to Offer Prayer at Presidential Inaugural Prayer Service

Video at this link. May take time to load. January 21, 2013

Sapreet Kaur, Executive Director of the Sikh Coalition, offers a Sikh prayer at the interfaith Inaugural Prayer Service at the National Cathedral on January 22, 2013. This was the first time a Sikh prayer was offered as part of the Inaugural Prayer Service.

The Presidential Inaugural Prayer Service has historical roots in the inauguration of the first American President, George Washington. It evolved into an interfaith event following the American Civil War and became a regular tradition during the presidency of Franklin Roosevelt.

Although Sikhs have lived in the United States for more than a century, the inclusion of the first Sikh speaker in this year's Presidential Inaugural Prayer Service means that Sikhs are gaining visible recognition as an integral part of American society. The Sikh Coalition is especially proud that a Sikh woman represented our community in this historical feat, consistent with the Sikh belief in gender equality, as taught by Guru Nanak over five centuries ago.

from American Turban

The Sikh News Network published an article today about some of the Sikh spectators during the public Inauguration ceremony in the nation’s capital yesterday:

“It’s exciting to be here because this president means a lot to me because of what he’s done over the years,” [California Democratic Party Delegate Harpreet Singh Sandhu] said. “(It is) what I’ve been affected directly in terms of healthcare for my kids, education, for them, and also for my mother who now is under disability, and what it provides for that. And moving forward, there are things that need to happen… But today we’re very excited about celebrating this beautiful event.”

Today, in Washington, D.C., Sapreet Kaur, the Executive Director of the Sikh Coalition, today became the first Sikh to offer a prayer at the interfaith Inaugural Prayer Service at the National Cathedral. The service included prayers and remarks from a variety of faith representatives.

Similar to Ishwar Singh offering an invocation during the Republican National Convention last fall, this is a noteworthy event that demonstrates the increasing recognition and engagement of Sikhs in the American political process.
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