Months after the 9/11 attacks, four teenagers set fire to a Sikh Temple in Central Square, after misreading the name as "Go Bin Laden."
Now, 18 years later, community members gathered at Gobind Sadan to celebrate forgiveness and love.
Members say, the teenagers were going to be tried as adults and under the hate crime statute for the arson. But Sikh tradition encourages preaching and practicing forgiveness. They say while they disapproved of the act, they recognize them as children and surrounded them in love.
Co-founder of Gobind Sadan, Ralph Singh, says every person has a duty to change the negative narrative.
"Understand darkness is simply a backdrop for the light to play upon,” said Gobind Sadan co-founder Ralph Singh. “We shouldn't be afraid of it. We should keep generating light."
During the fire, members say everything burned except their sacred book. A miracle that they say gives them hope and encourages forgiveness.
One of the teenagers involved in the arson wrote a letter to the temple thanking them for their forgiveness. She now teaches her five children about tolerance and love.