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USA Sikhs Honour Police Officer Shot During Oak Creek Attack


May 11, 2010
Ancient Greece
A Maryland-based Sikh organization has honored retired Oak Creek police officer Brian Murphy for his service when a gunman killed six worshippers at the Sikh Temple of Wisconsin in Oak Creek on Aug. 5, 2012.

The Guru Gobind Singh Foundation, a Sikh advocacy organization, honored Murphy on Sunday in Rockville, Md. — on Vaisakhi Day, a Sikh holy day — with a Sewa Award, given annually to someone who has contributed to the Sikh community.

"We are highly grateful to him for his sacrifice and exemplary service to the law and order and providing protection to all citizens of Oak Creek, including the members of the Sikh community in Wisconsin," said Inder Paul Singh Gadh, chairman of the foundation.

Murphy, the first officer on the scene, deterred what could have been a "much bigger massacre of Sikhs who were still trapped inside the gurdwara," Gadh said.

In an interview before the ceremony, Murphy, 52, who was shot multiple times by the gunman, said he appreciates the foundation's gesture.

"For them to take the time out to acknowledge my role in what happened is a very humbling experience," said Murphy, who says the principles he's learned from the Sikh temple have helped his recovery.

He was impressed that the Sikhs of Oak Creek forgave the gunman, Wade Michael Page, who killed himself in the temple's parking lot.

"I wasn't as quick to do that," said the 22-year veteran of the Oak Creek Police Department, who retired with a medical pension in June after getting shot on what normally would have been his day off. "I have, but it took a lot longer."

Through his new friendships with Sikhs — he has been back to the temple for visits since the shooting — he has come to embrace their principle of "Chardhi Kala," which he defines as "optimism even in the face of great adversity."


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