It looks like the White House has heard the voices of the people who signed a petition, requesting that President Obama attend Hadiya Pendleton’s funeral services. Though the president won’t attend, a White House official has confirmed that First Lady Michelle Obama will.
Unfortunately, just a week after millions of people celebrated President Obama’s inauguration into his second term, Hadiya Pendleton, a 15 year old drum major, who performed in the president’s inaugural parade, was gunned down in a Chicago park.
It’s a tragic story, especially since Hadiya, an honor student, was described by her family, friends and classmates as having so much potential.
As news of her death became a national story, President Obama and the First Lady issued their condolences through White House spokesman Jay Carney. Yet Chicago residents and Hadiya’s friends and family started petitions, one on Change.org requesting that President Obama attend Hadiya’s funeral and the other requesting that he address the gun violence that’s been running rampant in Chicago.
No word on whether the president will speak on the issue; but in solidarity with Hadiya’s family, Michelle Obama, White House senior advisor Valerie Jarrett and Secretary of Education Arne Duncan will attend the funeral. All three, Mrs. Obama, Jarrett and Duncan have strong ties to Chicago as they were raised in various parts of the city.
Illinois governor, Pat Quinn is also expected to speak at Hadiya’s services.
While I’m sure nothing the White House could do will ease the pain Hadiya’s family is feeling right now, it must be nice to know that the White House is showing support for Pendleton’s family and concern for the overall issue of gun violence.
Hadiya’s funeral is scheduled to take place this Saturday, February 9, at the Greater Harvest Baptist Church.