Click through the slideshow to look at photos from the Sikh Vigil in Union Square

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  • Credit: Odyssey Networks

  • Credit: Odyssey Networks

  • Credit: Odyssey Networks

  • Credit: Odyssey Networks

  • Credit: Odyssey Networks

  • Credit: Odyssey Networks

  • Credit: Odyssey Networks

  • Credit: Odyssey Networks

  • Credit: Odyssey Networks

  • Credit: Odyssey Networks

  • Credit: Odyssey Networks

  • Credit: Odyssey Networks

  • Muslims Praying at the Vigil

  • Credit Odyssey Networks

  • Credit: Odyssey Networks

  • Credit: Odyssey Networks

  • Credit: Odyssey Networks

  • Members of the Sikh community place votive candles beside photographs of the victims of the Wisconsin Sikh Temple shooting during a vigil Wednesday, Aug. 8, 2012 in New York's Union Square. (AP Photo/John Minchillo)

  • Members of the Sikh community raise their candles during a vigil to commemorate the victims of the Wisconsin Sikh Temple shooting and other hate crimes Wednesday, Aug. 8, 2012 in New York's Union Square. (AP Photo/John Minchillo)

  • Members of the Sikh community attend a vigil to commemorate the victims of the Wisconsin Sikh Temple shooting and other hate crimes Wednesday, Aug. 8, 2012 in New York's Union Square. (AP Photo/John Minchillo)

NEW YORK -- Across America, thousands gathered on Wednesday evening at 8 p.m. in a coordinated showcase of solidarity to commemorate those who lost their lives in the attack on worshipers at a Gurdwara (Sikh Temple) in Milwaukee, WI.

In New York City, several hundred religious and non-religious people gathered in Union Square to mourn and pay their respects in an event organized by the Sikh Community and co-sponsored by several other religious organizations.

Many of New York City's leaders including community activist Simran Jeet Singh, Rev. Stephen Phelps from Riverside Church, Buddhist leader T.K. Nakagaki, Cyrus McGoldrick from CAIR, Christine Quinn from New York City Council, NYC Comptroller John Liu, and others spoke words of comfort and breathed hope to a saddened and shocked community.

The event served as an opportunity not just to grieve, but also raise awareness about Sikhism and re-emphasize the shared humanity between those of differing religious and political beliefs. As people covered their heads and wore t-shirts that said, "We are Sikhs," while Muslims broke their fast there, the event was a remarkable show of interfaith solidarity.

As the crowd held up candles in unison a resilient hope was palpable among those gathered. At the end, Simran Jeet Singh, one of the speakers at the event, emphasized the importance of Charhdi Kala, a teaching according to which Sikhs are to face bitterness with acceptance and courage.

Thanks to Odyssey Networks for the photos.

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