Hadiya Pendleton: 15 year old teenager that performed at Obama’s Inauguration but was struck dead by a bullet on her return to Chicago. Rest in Peace.
First lady Michelle Obama and some of Chicago’s most well-known faces turned out today to attend the funeral of Hadiya Pendleton, a 15-year-old girl whose killing has become another symbol in the national debate on gun violence.
Hundreds filled the Greater Deliverance Temple Church of Christ to pay their respects to the teenager’s family, but the mood in the room was upbeat, including renditions from the choir. Friends of the girl, who had been one of the performers at President Obama second inauguration just days before she was gunned down, read poems in remembrance.
Before the service, the first lady met privately with about 30 of Hadiya Pendleton’s friends and classmates, and then met privately with members of Hadiya’s family.
Pendleton’s shooting came in January among a string of recent high profile gun crimes. Chicago is also struggling through the throes of the worst homicide rates it’s seen in a decade, spurred by gang warfare.
“She was not too young to leave a mark, and impact her friends, her family, and even now the nation,” the Rev. Courtney Maxwell said of the student who had reportedly once participated in an anti-gang video.