WASHINGTON--President Barack Obama will pay tribute to slain Chicago teen Hadiya Pendleton in his State of the Union message, to buttress his plea to Congress to allow measures to curb gun violence to at least come to a vote. Her parents, Cleopatra and Nathaniel were seated in the House chamber--guests of First Lady Michelle Obama--as Obama delivered his remarks.
Mrs. Obama attended Hadiya's funeral in Chicago on Saturday.
Obama is expected to say, "One of those we lost was a young girl named Hadiya Pendleton. She was 15 years old. She loved Fig Newtons and lip gloss. She was a majorette. She was so good to her friends, they all thought they were her best friend. Just three weeks ago, she was here, in Washington, with her classmates, performing for her country at my inauguration. And a week later, she was shot and killed in a Chicago park after school, just a mile away from my house.
"Hadiya's parents, Nate and Cleo, are in this chamber tonight, along with more than two dozen Americans whose lives have been torn apart by gun violence. They deserve a vote."