First lady Michelle Obama was among hundreds who gathered in Chicago Saturday to mourn Hadiya Pendleton, the 15-year-old who was fatally shot just a week after performing in President Obama's second inaugural festivities, the Associated Press reports.
Michelle Obama was among a long list of dignitaries who attended the funeral. She met privately with the family before the service and then accompanied the girl's mother to the open casket at the front of the church.
Obama, who grew up on Chicago's South Side, put her arm around Cleopatra Pendleton and patted her back. The woman threw her head back and wailed as the lid of her daughter's flower-strewn casket was closed.
Moments later, the hundreds in attendance rose to their feet to begin the service with a round of applause "to the strength of this family."
Other known figures at the funeral included Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel, White House senior adviser Valerie Jarrett, Education Secretary Arne Duncan and Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn, though none of them spoke at the funeral.
Pendleton's family said the service wouldn't be political — it would be a time to remember a girl who loved to dance and once appeared in an anti-gang video.
None of the dignitaries spoke Saturday. Instead, close friends, holding back tears, got up to remember her.