Candlelight vigil to honor police officer Sandeep Singh Dhaliwal

Candlelight vigil to honor police officer Sandeep Singh Dhaliwal

Candlelight vigil to honor police officer Sandeep Singh Dhaliwal

Photo Credit: Indermohan Singh Mokha


CHICAGO: In memory of the Harris County Texas Sheriff Department Deputy Sandeep Singh Dhaliwal, an interfaith prayer service and candlelight vigil were organized by Sikh Religious Society, Palatine, Illinois, at Gurdwara langar hall October 2, 2019. More than 400 people paid their respects despite the torrential rainstorm in the Chicago area that day.

Deputy Dhaliwal was heading back to his patrol car during a traffic stop September 29 when a man got out of the vehicle with a pistol and shot him from behind. A 47-year-old male, Robert Solis, was charged with the murder of Dhaliwal.

Dhaliwal, in his mid-forties, was a trailblazer in the sense that he became the first Sikh police officer wearing beard and turban inspiring and opening doors for many others who followed him in Houston area and other parts of the US. He was honored nationwide for his ultimate sacrifice.  He leaves behind his wife and three children.

The vigil started indoors with the singing of Sikh hymns prayer) in the langar hall of the Palatine Gurdwara. Fifteen speakers, representing the Sikh, Muslim, Christian, Jewish, gun violence prevention communities, and civil action-oriented organizations and police chiefs and officers and local legislators addressed the gathering. The speakers paid tributes to Dhaliwal for his exemplary service to the community on the job in uniform and also as a private citizen in times of need during natural disasters.Candlelight vigil to honor police officer Sandeep Singh Dhaliwal

Dr Pardeep Singh Gill, president of Sikh Religious Society Palatine, Illinois, opened the program and welcomed the guests.

The speakers shared their personal stories of who Dhaliwal was and what he meant to the community and Sikh youth. They reminded the audience that gun violence impacts every community and all religions, races and ages.

There were more than a dozen police officers including Sikh officers from the neighboring towns and one officer Singh from Michigan attended the vigil. They were thanked for their service, honored for their sacrifices, and given a rousing standing ovation.

Police officers Pardeep Singh Deol and Daman Singh took turns to announce the 94 police officers killed in line of duty this year and a candle was lit for each one of them. Finally a moment of silence for all the fallen police officers, including Dhaliwal, was observed and candles were lit in their honor. All the participants of the event were invited to partake “langar” at the community kitchen.

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