WASHINGTON, D.C. (CBS) — President Obama called special attention to his invited guests from Chicago and their slain daughter.
“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,” said Obama.
President Obama connected Hadiya Pendleton to his own neighborhood as the teenager’s parents sat in the gallery, right next to the 1st lady. CBS 2’s Jim Williams spoke to them earlier.
When asked how it feels, Hadiya’s mother Cleo said, “It means the world to me and to my daughter who thought so much of them. It’s an honor.”
Amid, their grief, the Pendletons had a busy day in Washington, reacting to the news that police have charged two men in Hadiya’s murder.
“I am very excited that the murderers who hurt my baby have been caught,” Hadiya’s mother, Cleopatra Cowley, told CBS 2’s Jim Williams. “I’m happy that she’s not a cold case.”
And Cleopatra Pendleton had a direct message for congress at a news conference where families of gun victims held photos of their loved ones.
“You guys signed up for the job, do something,” she said.
And in front of the nation, the president agreed
“Hadiya’s parents are in the chamber tonight. They deserve a vote,” said President Obama.
Republicans say they are moved by Hadiya’s death, but do not believe more guns laws are the answer.