Pendleton’s death brought new attention to Chicago’s homicide rate and the national debate over gun violence. Pendleton’s slaying came in a January that was the city’s deadliest in a decade. In 2012, Chicago recorded 506 homicides.
Inside the church Saturday, photos from the honor student’s life were projected on a screen at the front of the sanctuary. One shows her as a newborn swaddled in a pink bassinet. In others, she is smiling alongside family and friends.
The glossy, eight-page funeral program included photos of Pendleton and details about her life, including her favorite foods — cheeseburgers, fig cookies, Chinese and ice cream — and the numerous school organizations she was involved in. It also said she wanted to major in pharmacology and journalism in college.
Those attending Saturday’s service included Gov. Pat Quinn, U.S. Education Secretary Arne Duncan and White House senior adviser Valerie Jarrett — all of whom are from Chicago.
Quinn mentioned Pendleton’s death in his State of the State address earlier this week as he called for a ban on assault weapons and high-capacity ammunition magazines.
“There are no words in the English language . or any language . to relieve the pain of parents who lose a child,” said Quinn, who said he spoke with Pendleton’s family two days before his speech.