Michelle Obama Attends Slain Chicago Teen's Funeral

Hadiya Pendleton's death has become a symbol of the depth of gun violence in America.

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Cleopatra Pendleton, mother of Hadiya Pendleton, at her child's wake (Scott Olson/Getty Images)

First lady Michelle Obama brought attention to the gun violence and gun control debate on Saturday when she attended the funeral of slain 15-year-old Hadiya Pendleton in Chicago. The teen, who participated in President Obama's inauguration, was shot dead soon after she returned home to the Windy City, reports the Chicago Tribune.

Purple, Hadiya's favorite color, is represented in many of the flowers in the church and the lining of her casket. Ushers handed out a glossy funeral program booklet printed on purple paper. The front cover says "Celebrating The Life Of ... Hadiya Zaymara Pendleton." Inside are more than 50 photos of Hadiya throughout her life.

Her obituary printed in the booklet describes her work in the church and even her favorite foods: Chinese, cheeseburgers, ice cream and Fig Newtons. It includes tributes from her grandmother, her cousin and an aunt as well as close friends ...

Michelle Obama's attendance puts Chicago solidly in the middle of a national debate over gun violence that has polarized Congress and forced President Obama to take his gun control initiatives on the road to garner more public support.

The first lady's visit is being seen not only as a gesture of condolence to the family but as part of an effort to draw attention and support for the president's gun initiatives.

Read more at the Chicago Tribune.

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