First Lady Told Pendleton Mourners to 'Stay Strong'

By Alexandria Fisher
|  Sunday, Feb 10, 2013  |  Updated 5:26 PM CDT
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Hundreds Turn Out for Hadiya Pendleton Wake

Friends of Hadiya Pendleton hold each other after being turned away from the funeral due to overcrowding.

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Hadiya Pendleton Funeral Draws Hundreds

Hundreds, including First Lady Michelle Obama, attended a funeral for slain teen Hadiya Pendleton.
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First Lady Michelle Obama offered encouraging words to family and friends of Hadiya Pendleton at the slain teen's funeral Saturday, DNAinfo.com reported.

The First Lady reportedly met privately with the group of mourners before services began, offering encouragement and telling them to "hang on" and "stay strong."

The First Lady's presence at the funeral drew in a large crowd, and lots of security, and shed light on the gun violence issue facing Chicagoans, though she did not speak in the service itself. 

Hundreds gathered outside the Greater Harvest Baptist Church with hopes of getting into the service, though many were turned away.

Friends and Family offered uplifting memories and testimonials about Pendleton, remembering her smile, her love of lip gloss and her bright spirit.

President Obama also wrote a note to the family telling them he would continue to work as hard as possible to "end this senseless violence."

The President will also visit Chicago Friday to talk about gun violence and the economy.

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