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The Hadiya Pendleton Murder, One Year Later

By Chuck Sudo in News on Jan 30, 2014 10:20PM


Wednesday marked one year since Hadiya Pendleton, a 15-year-old student at King College Prep, was killed while seeking shelter from rain on the South Side a week after she performed with her school’s drill team during President Obama’s second inauguration. Hadiya was killed about a mile away from the Obama’s Kenwood home—a story that made national headlines.

Hadiya’s family and classmates at King gathered along with Mayor Rahm Emanuel, St. Sabina pastor Rev. Michael Pfleger and others to celebrate her life Wednesday. The two hour ceremony featured songs, poetry and recollections of Hadiya’s life from her friends and family, most of whom admitted her loss still stings a year later.

Hadiya’s mother, Cleopatra Cowley-Pendleton, told the Tribune she and husband Nathaniel are trying to make something positive of their daughter’s death by starting Hadiya’s Foundation, nonprofit they hope will eventually partner with police departments, schools and after school programs to fight back against the violence on the streets that claimed Hadiya.

"Purpose comes in many different forms. It could be the (public) discussion alone was the purpose (for her death). It could be things that are yet to come and yet to be seen," she said. "I don't think all the answers have to be clear right now."