Sikh temple president shows us what it means to be a hero

As members of the Sikh Temple of Wisconsin and the surrounding community are recovering from the terrible shooting that took place over the weekend, relatives of the victims are opening up about the stories of their lost loved ones. The 6 who were killed included the much-beloved leader of the temple, who took heroic actions to try and save his treasured Sikh community even as he was dying.


Satwant Singh Kaleka, the 65-year-old president of the temple, dedicated his life to the members of his religious community, becoming a lead investor in the building's construction when it was first created. Now, relatives are saying that his devotion and faith persisted even during the terrible attack. After he was shot twice near his hip and upper leg, Kaleka still fought to the death in an effort to protect others, attempting to stab the gunman with a butter knife he somehow managed to find in the chaos. His courageous actions allowed other women in the temple to hide.

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His son, Amardeep Singh Kaleka, said even FBI agents were taken aback with his father's bravery, stopping to shake his hands and proclaim, "Your dad's a hero."  And he truly is! Though I can't begin to imagine what the family is going through with this tragic loss, at least they can take small comfort in knowing that his final actions saved the lives of the people he cared about.

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Though many are preoccupied with learning more about the shooter who caused the horrible tragedy in the first place, I personally care more about Kaleka's life and those of the five other innocent people who were senselessly killed. They, more than anyone else, deserve to be remembered and celebrated.

My heart goes out to their families and loved ones.

Image via Satwant Kaleka/facebook

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