Gil and Kathy Salk and their friend Lois Harwick aren't Sikh. They also aren't from Hamden -- the Salks are from Hebron and Harwick is from Glastonbury.
But they were in Hamden Saturday night at the Gurdwara Sachkhand Darbar on Welton Street to lend their support to the temple during a candlelight vigil to remember the victims of the Wisconsin temple shooting last weekend.
"We wanted to express our solidarity with a group that was terribly wronged," Gil Salk said. "There is just too much of this going on."
About 40 people gathered at the temple, which only recently opened in Hamden, to honor the six victims of the Wisconsin Sikh temple and to reinforce their unity with other Sikhs and with the country as a whole.
Often members of the Sikh religion are mistaken for Muslims because of their facial hair and turbans, but they are separate religions. That hasn't stopped the discrimination they have faced, especially since 9/11, as many mistaken them for Muslims.
"You are not alone," Sen. Richard Blumenthal told the temple members. "We are all Americans and we are all with you."
The country must learn a lesson from the Wisconsin shootings and realize that in its diversity, people have more in common than they do in their differences, he said.
"It is much more important to celebrate our diversity, because that is what makes us great," he said. "Hatred and violence have no place in America."
"Peace is something we all strive for," said Rev. Victoria Triano of Christ Community Church in East Haddam. "Peace must start from the heart of each of us.
"Know we all pray with you and for you," she said.