Parents Of Hadiya Pendleton Attend State of the Union: Their Tragic Story

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Pendletons at SOTU
First lady Michelle Obama stands with the Pendeltons before President Obama's State of the Union Speech.

Cleopatra-Crowley Pendleton and Nathanial A. Pendleton Sr., the parents of Hadiya Pendleton, are attending the 2013 State of Union and are seated next to first lady Michelle Obama. Hadiya was murdered on Jan. 29, a week after singing at President Barack Obama’s inauguration.

Hadiya Pendleton was murdered in Harsh Park, located in Chicago’s South Side. The 15-year-old girl sang at the president’s inauguration and was an excellent student at King College Prep High School where she was an honor student as well as band majorette.

As previously reported on IBTimes, two individuals were charged in the murder of Hadiya Pendleton. Michael Ward, 18, and Kenneth Williams, 20, were charged with first-degree murder, attempted murder and aggravated battery with a firearm. Two other teenagers were shot and wounded during the shooting at Harsh Park.

Hadiya was the victim of a random crime, going to the park to escape the rain after school let out with a group of friends before the shooting. First lady Michelle Obama attended Hadiya’s funeral on Feb. 6.

Hadiya’s death is further evidence of the gun violence scourge facing America.

In the wake of the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting on Dec. 14, where 26 individuals -- 20 children and six adults -- were killed by Adam Lanza, who then committed suicide, a mall shooting over the holidays as well as several other school and public shootings in recent weeks, most recently the Christopher Dorner shooting spree, gun control and gun violence is one of the most talked about issues in America.

The presence of the Pendletons puts a face to an important issue facing President Obama during the State of the Union.   

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