Punjab Chief Minister Arrives to Somber Crowd

Gathering was to include live music and banners

Tuesday, Aug 7, 2012  |  Updated 9:05 PM CDT
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Punjab Chief Minister Arrives to Somber Crowd

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A crowd of around 100 people gathered at O'Hare International Airport Tuesday, the mood somber, to welcome the Chief Minister of Punjab just days after an attack on a Sikh temple outside Milwaukee.

Parkash Badal, who is Sikh, arrived in Chicago to attend his niece's wedding this coming weekend, in a trip planned before Sunday's shooting at a Sikh temple, according to the Chicago Tribune.

In a gathering that was originally planned to be lively, including music, flowers, and banners, those present to see Badal instead greeted the leader with handshakes and hugs, the Tribune reported.

Badal's first priority will now be to meet with families grieving following Sunday's shooting.

He then emphasized that Punjabis and the Sikh community should keep "peace and harmony." the Tribune reported.

As many Sikhs look back on the tragedy, however, they emphasize that it affects more than their religious community.

"We don't look at it as a Sikh tragedy," Mani Singh told the Tribune, "We look at it as an American tragedy."

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