By Nova Safo, CNN
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Chicago, Illinois (CNN) – Hadiya Pendleton, 15, was laid to rest on Saturday following a funeral in which her family struggled to keep national politics from overshadowing her memory.
The funeral was attended by numerous political figures, including Michelle Obama. Pendleton was shot just one mile from the Obamas' Chicago home, and an online petition urged the president to visit his hometown to address the gun violence. Late last week, the White House announced that not only would the first lady attend the funeral but that President Obama would visit Chicago this week to talk about gun violence there.
Cleopatra Cowley, Pendleton’s mother, is scheduled to attend the president’s State of the Union address, in which he is expected to bring up gun control. Other family members of shootings victims, from mass shootings such as Newtown, Tucson, Aurora and Virginia Tech, are also expected to attend.
During the Saturday funeral, Cowley spoke only briefly, and gave a glimpse into her grief:
[:56] “You don’t know how hard this really is. And those of you who do know how hard this is… I’m sorry. I’m sorry. No mother, no father should ever have to experience this.”
For a closer look at the funeral and the impact of Pendleton’s death, listen to our story above.