People from all faiths made a wall of unity and cleaned the Swaminarayan Temple.
Louisvillians gave a glimpse of what can be called the united face of America, when hundreds of volunteers showed up to clean up a Hindu temple vandalized last week.
Last week, a 17-year-old white boy was arrested for desecrating the Swaminayaran Temple in Louisville, the largest city in Kentucky. The boy has been charged with first-degree criminal mischief and third-degree burglary.
On Saturday morning, hundreds of people from all faiths and cultures stood together to paint a uniform picture of solidarity in Louisville.
Dozens of people came to the temple at Bardstown Road with cleaning supplies to clean up the place and show their support.
“What you saw here today was a lot of strength,” said Indian American State Rep. Nima Kulkarni, who represents Kentucky’s 40th district. “You saw a lot of compassion, and you saw a lot of community feeling and support.”
Last week, Kentucky Mayor Greg Fischer had invited the community at large to come to the temple on Saturday to clean up the place and paint away the hatred. He had asked people to bring along their cleaning supplies and compassion.
People from all faiths worked together to clean up the place and also wrote messages of love and compassion in order to clearly defeat the hateful graffiti that was painted on the temple walls last week.
Attorney General Andy Beshear and Gov. Matt Bevin were also present and encouraged the community’s overall efforts.
The Twitter handle of Swaminarayan Temple also tweeted thanking everyone who came forward to show love.
Shree Swaminarayan Temple Kentucky thanks the Louisville community for their outpouring love and support to #PaintTheHate. We would like to also thank the local and state officials for their support.
We will never forget this remarkable display of #unity and #peace. #WeAreKY pic.twitter.com/COiNJThy2z
— Swaminarayan Temple (@SGadiNJ) February 3, 2019
Kulkarni also thanked everyone for the efforts. “Thank you to the hundreds of supporters who cleaned, painted, and stood in solidarity with the Swaminarayan Temple today,” she wrote on her Facebook page. “Thank you to Chief Conrad, Major Bogan, and the detectives from LMPD’s 6th Division for making our community feel safe. Thank you to Mayor Fischer for his leadership, and Attorney General Andy Beshear, Congressman Yarmuth, and Governor Bevin for their support. Thank you to all the interfaith and community leaders for sharing their wisdom and encouragement today. I am overwhelmed by our community’s response to this incident, and know that this has made us stronger. The young, misguided perpetrator of these actions has our compassion, understanding, and forgiveness. Let this incident make us stronger, wiser, and more resilient.”
She also posted several pictures of youngsters and people across ages dedicatedly cleaning and restoring the temple to its glory.