Friday, February 08, 2013

First Lady Will Attend Chicago Funeral For Hadiya Pendleton, Skip Grammy Award Ceremony

First Lady is "heartbroken" about teen's death, says White House...
First Lady Michelle Obama is nominated for a Grammy award in the Best Spoken Word Album category for the audio edition of her book American Grown: The Story of the White House Kitchen Garden and Gardens Across America.  But Mrs. Obama will skip the ceremony in Los Angeles this Sunday, an East Wing spokesman confirmed to Obama Foodorama.  Mrs. Obama will be in her hometown of Chicago on Saturday morning, to attend the funeral of Hadiya Pendleton, a 15-year-old gunned down in Chicago last week.

Mrs. Obama will be joined by Education Secretary Arne Duncan and Senior Advisor Valerie Jarrett at the funeral, and will return to Washington in the evening.

"As a mother and Chicagoan, the first lady was heartbroken to learn of the tragic loss of Hadiya Pendleton due to senseless gun violence," Kristina Schake, the First Lady’s Communications Director, told Chicago Sun-Times.  "Too many times, we’ve seen young people struck down with so much of their lives ahead of them. The first lady is traveling to her funeral on Saturday to offer her condolences and support to Hadiya’s family and loved ones."

Pendleton was shot at a North Kenwood park, about a mile from the President Obama and Mrs. Obama's Hyde Park home. She had just returned from Washington, DC, where she performed as a baton-twirling majorette with her King College Prep school band at an inauguration party sponsored by Rep. Danny K. Davis.  Chicago residents launched a petition urging President Obama to attend the funeral.  

Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn also will attend the funeral, set for 9 AM on Saturday at the Greater Harvest Baptist Church, at 5141 S. State St, reported NBC Chicago.  Visitation for Pendleton will be held Friday at Calahan Funeral Home, at 7030 S. Halsted St., from 2 PM to 9 PM.