May 4, 2015 (Washington D.C.) – For the second consecutive year, the Office of the Pentagon Chaplain commemorated Vaisakhi in a 400-seat auditorium last Friday. Guests included congressional staffers, military officials, service members, interfaith leaders, and nearly 200 sangat members from across the country.
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“This second commemoration affirms the importance of honoring religious diversity and raising Sikh awareness, not just inside the walls of the Pentagon, but across the United States. We are honored to have played a role in sharing that important message,” said the Sikh Coalition’s Executive Director, Sapreet Kaur. “We are also grateful to the Pentagon Chaplain's Office for organizing and hosting a Vaisakhi celebration again this year.“
The theme for this year’s event focused on seva (selfless service), the importance it plays in the Sikh faith, and how vibrant that service has been in shaping our collective American experience.
The 75-minute ceremony included remarks by the Office of the Pentagon Chaplain, Major Kamaljeet Singh Kalsi, and Captain Tejdeep Singh Rattan. Inni Kaur, Valarie Kaur, and the Sikh Coalition’s Simran Jeet Singh delivered the featured speeches. There was a musical performance by Gagandeep Singh and Indervir Singh, Amanpreet Kaur performed Kirtan and Petty Officer Geena Kaur led Ardaas.
To view full text of the speeches: Simran Jeet Singh, Inni Kaur, and Valarie Kaur.
The Sikh Coalition is grateful to the Office of the Pentagon Chaplain, including Chaplain (LTC) Brittian, for making this event happen for the second time in Pentagon history. A special thanks also goes out to Major Kalmaljeet Singh Kalsi for his tireless efforts to assist in bringing this event together.
We would also like to thank all of the participants and Oak Creek Mayor, Steve Scaffidi, for being in attendance. The Sikh Coalition remains committed to building awareness and appreciation for Sikh traditions in every corner of American life so that Sikhs can practice their faith fearlessly, no matter what career they choose to pursue.