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This Press Release may be read online at: http://www.unitedsikhs.org/PressReleases/PRSRLS-03-10-2008-00.htm

Press Release: 3rd Oct 2008, Friday       19th Assu (Samvat 540 Nanakshahi )

Press Release

NY Sikhs Join 9/11 Annual Unity Walk

New York, NY - Sikhs of New York joined in a Unity Walk last month to demonstrate solidarity of faiths and to make a shared call for peace, while remembering the victims of 9-11. The one-mile walk from Battery Park to the World Trade Center, undertaken by more than 150 people, took place on Sunday September 14th, 2008, organized by Religions for Peace and co-sponsored by UNITED SIKHS and a number of other organizations. Speakers from various faith traditions and musicians were gathered together to create a memorial to remember.

The Unity Walk Mission Statement read, “We walk together as neighbors from many faiths and cultures. We gather in peace to demonstrate our unity, recalling the spirit of togetherness that grew out of 9/11. We commemorate this day because of concern for each other’s welfare is the shared hope of us all.”

Master of Ceremony Harpreet Singh Toor, a member of World Sikh Counciil, commented, “It’s an honor to be able to stand as a representative from the Sikh Community and to know that all faiths have come together to bring peace at this Unity Walk. We need to educate those that are not aware of the Sikhs and to get involved as a community together as a Unity and Unite as a whole.”

Participants of New York join in a Unity Walk and lay white carnations in memory
of those that lost their lives on 9-11.

Raminder Kaur, UNITED SIKHS Operations Manager, sung the following shabad (hymn),

Translation:
“The world is going up in flames - shower it with Your Mercy, and save it!
Save it, and deliver it, by whatever method it takes.
The True Guru has shown the way to peace, contemplating the True Word of the Shabad.
Nanak knows no other than the Lord, the Forgiving Lord. ||1||


Dr William Vendley, Secretary General of Religions for Peace, gave the welcome address, followed by a speech of the Rev. Chloe Breyer, Executive Director, The Interfaith Center of New York.

“The Unity Walk seeks to build bridges of understanding and respect in a post September 11 world,” said, Raminder Kaur, Operations Manager, UNITED SIKHS.

The concept of the Unity Walk was presented at a Points of Light leadership summit on Martin Luther Kind day 2005. The original idea was put forth by Embassy Row resident Kyle Poole, polished and delivered to Embassy Row worship houses by Erik Schwarz, and brought to reality by Dan Tutt, Meg Clifford (Poole) and hundreds of volunteers from every faith. From conception, it was known that the 9/11 Unity Walk was much more than a church open house, but a statement from Embassy Row in Washington, DC to the world. The true founders of the Walk, however, are all of congregations along the Embassy Row route who so quickly embraced the idea, putting aside hesitations within their own communities, to satisfy the prescient need to come together, and in the process, making history.

L to R: Anne Hillman, Consultant for Religions for Peace, with Raminder Kaur, Operations Manager, UNITED SIKHS Speakers and Musicians gather together for UNITY WALK Closing Ceremony at St. Peters Church in New York with Dr William Vendley, Religions For Peace, Raminder Kaur, UNITED SIKHS, Ustad Rajpinderjit Singh, Tabla Artist, Mr. Vineet Chander ISKON, Swami Parameshananda Bharat Sevashram Sangha ,Rev. Gaia Vartutti and Rev. Craig Weltha One Spirit Interfaith Seminary

At around 6:45pm, as the sun set on the Ramadan Fast, an Islamic prayer was said followed by a community dinner.

St. Peter’s Church Closing Ceremony
Raminder Kaur, UNITED SIKHS along with Volunteers Youth Engaged in Service, Tabla Artist, Rajpinderjit Singh, Harpreet Singh Toor, Sikh Cultural Society & World Sikh Council and Swami Parameshananda.

Co-sponsoring and Participatory organizations of the 9-11 Unity Walk with their members, organized by Religions For Peace-USA were –

Ms. Preeta Bansal, US Commission on International Freedom; Raminder Kaur, UNITED SIKHS; Harpreet Singh Toor, Sikh Cultural Society & World Sikh Council ;Father Madigan, St Peters Roman Catholic Church; Rabbi Amy Small, Jewish Reconstructionist Federation; Dr Khurshid Khan, Islamic Circle of North America; Mr Vineet Chander, ISKCON; Saint Paul and Saint Andrew UMC, Interfaith Center of New York, Ms. Sabeeha Rehman, American Society for Muslim Advancement; Rev. Gaia Varutti and Rev. Craig Weltha from OneSpirit Interfaith Seminary, Rev. T. Kenjitsu Nakagaki, Buddhist Churches Of America; Ervad Rohinton Dadina, Federation of Zoroastrian Associations Of North America.

9/11 Unity Walk Volunteers included-Youth Engaged in Service Students for Peace and Justice, Union Theological Seminary.

To read a previous press release on or multi faith projects see http://www.unitedsikhs.org/PressReleases/PRSRLS-17-12-2007-00.html

Issued By:
Kuldip Singh
Director
UNITED SIKHS, New York
Phone: (888) 243-1690


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Accordingly, UNITED SIKHS has sought to fulfil its mission not only by informing, educating and uplifting fellow beings but also by participating in cross-cultural and political exchanges to ensure that the promises and benefits of democracy are realized by all.

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