Michelle Obama returned to her hometown today to address Chicago’s continuously growing problem of gun violence.
The First Lady began her speech by comparing herself to 15-year-old Hadiya Pendleton, who was shot a killed in Chicago just a week after her performance at President Obama’s inauguration festivities.
“What I realized was that Hadiya’s family was just like my family. Hadiya Pendleton was me, and I was her,” she said, holding back tears. “But I got to grow up and go to Princeton and Harvard Law School and have a career and a family and the most blessed life I could ever imagine.”
“And Hadiya, well we know that story,” she said. “She went to a park with some friends and got shot in the back.”
Mrs. Obama went on to say that a supportive community, involved family members and good schools made the difference in her life between “growing up and becoming a lawyer, a mother, the First Lady of the United States and being shot dead at the age of 15.”
The FLOTUS attended Hadiya’s funeral services and she recalled how difficult it was to talk “to a room full of teenagers who are about to bury their best friend.”
“I started by telling them that Hadiya was clearly on her way to doing something truly worthy with her life. I told them that there is a reason that we’re here on this earth, that each of us has a mission in this world, and I urged them to use their lives to give meaning to Hadiya’s life,” she said.
The First Lady ended her speech by encouraging Americans to support President Obama’s efforts to pass comprehensive gun control legislation.
“Right now, my husband is fighting as hard as he can and engaging as many people as he can to pass common sense reforms to protect our children from gun violence,” she said. “And these reforms deserve a vote in Congress.”
Take a look at the video below and tell us where you stand on the issue of gun control in America.
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