A Washington-based Sikh organistaion has announced to honour Oak Creek police officer Brian Murphy, for his "sacrifice and exemplary service" during the shootings at a gurdwara in Wisconsin two years ago, with a service award.
The first officer on the scene during the August 5, 2012 shootings at the gurdwara of Oak Creek in Wisconsin, will receive the 'seva' award on Vaisakhi day, at gurdwara in suburb here, Guru Gobind Singh Foundation, said yesterday.
Murphy was struck with 12 bullets during the attack in which six Sikh worshippers were killed and three others were critically wounded.
"We are highly grateful to him for his sacrifice and exemplary service to the law and order and providing protection to all citizens of Oak Creek including the members of the Sikh community in Wisconsin. His actions were able to deter much bigger massacre of Sikhs who were still trapped inside the gurdwara," Inder Paul Singh Gadh, chairman of the foundation, said.
Murphy, 52, who has recovered from his injuries, is travelling with his family from Wisconsin to Washington to attend the ceremony.
"I try to teach my law enforcement students about Chardi Kala and the faith and divinity of the Sikh faith", Murphy wrote while accepting to receive the award.
The attack on the gurdwara during morning prayers in Wisconsin was carried out by gunman Wade Michael Page, who was shot and killed by a police officer in the parking lot of the gurdwara.
The shooting at Oak Creek, just south of Wisconsin's biggest city Milwaukee, occurred at around 11 am (local time).
Oak Creek is about 1,250 km from New York.
Rajwant Singh, secretary of the foundation and chairman of the Sikh Council on Religion and Education called Murphy an 'extra-ordinary public protector'.
"Sikhs are indebted to Brian Murphy and we are especially touched by his spirit. He reflects the Sikh concept of Chardhi Kala, which is to remain in high and positive spirit even in the face of challenges and tragedies in life. So many youngsters and members of the community are eager to meet him and greet him in Washington," he added.
Vaisakhi is also a harvest festival for Punjabis and is celebrated by the Sikh community in the month of April.