Sikhs around the world are celebrating the birth anniversary of Guru Nanak, the founder of the Sikh faith who was born in 1469. As he has done in his previous years in office (2010, 2011), President Barack Obama has offered his felicitations on the birth anniversary. In his remarks, the President also made mention of the victims of the shooting at the Gurdwara in Oak Creek, Wisconsin in August.
It was this President who was the first to celebrate the birth of Guru Nanak in the White House, back in 2009. President Obama’s level of engagement with the Sikh community is unprecedented, and is certainly appreciated.
The full text of President Obama’s commemoration appears below.
The White House
Office of the Press Secretary
For Immediate Release
November 28, 2012
Statement by the President on the Anniversary of the Birth of Guru Nanak Dev Ji
I send my best wishes to all those here in America and around the world who are observing the anniversary of birth of Guru Nanak Dev Ji, the first Sikh Guru. As always, this is a time to celebrate the principles of equality, respect, service and interfaith cooperation that are the core of the Sikh faith, and to recognize the extraordinary contributions that Sikh Americans make to our country every day. This year, we also remember the innocent lives that were lost in the unspeakable violence directed against the Sikh congregation at the gurdwara in Oak Creek, Wisconsin. I can think of no better way to honor their memory, and to join our Sikh friends as they mark this sacred time, than to recommit ourselves to the spirit of pluralism, equality and compassion that define both the Sikh community and our nation.