Controversial messages covering 9-11 monument will stay

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by Tyler Baldwin

azfamily.com

Posted on April 30, 2011 at 10:11 PM

Updated Monday, May 2 at 9:22 AM

PHOENIX -- Balbir Singh Sodhi was shot and killed outside his gas station just days after the World Trade Center twin towers fell. It’s believed his killer, Frank Rogue, murdered him simply because of the turban on his head, a racist reaction to Sept. 11,  2001.

When the 9/11 Monument was commissioned in Arizona, Sodhi's name was forever immortalized along with a timeline of emotions and events related to the tragedy.

His brother, Rana Singh Sodhi, says the monument has an incredible impact on their family.

“Every time our guests come from India, or some other country, we bring them here and tell the whole story… what happened… and how beautiful this country keeps the value of humans,” he said.

GuruRoop Kaur Khalsa, a Sikh community spokesperson, feels the monument has an even bigger impact on our society.

"A monument is like a beacon of what we need to prevent from happening in the future based on what happened in the past,” Khalsa said.

However, Republican Rep. John Kavanagh (AZ D-8) wanted 11 of the statements on the monument removed. On that list of statements are things such as: "Foreign-- born Americans afraid." "You don’t win battles of terrorism with more battles" and "09 15 01 Balbir Singh Sodhi, a Sikh, murdered in Mesa."

These lines were called disrespectful and un-American. The bill to remove them from the monument passed both the House and Senate. Gov. Jan Brewer vetoed it after talking to Balbir Singh Sodhi's family.

Kavanagh could try and override the governor's veto. However, Rana Singh Sodhi doesn't feel that's going to happen.

The victim's family felt this veto is just one more example of what makes this country great, and just one of the many reasons why his family moved here more than two decades ago.

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