FLOTUS Michelle Obama was in Chicago yesterday to aid Mayor Rahm Emanuel's anti-youth violence program, and she delivered an emotional speech. She recalled her days growing up on the city's South Side and connected with the hardships that children in Chicago experience today:
"It is hard to know what to say to a roomful of teenagers about to bury their best friend," Obama said, emotion raw in her voice.
"I urged them to use their lives to give meaning to ideas," she added. "I urged them to dream as big as she did. And work as hard as she did. And live a life that honors every last bit of her god-given promise."
The most moving part of the First Lady's speech came when she spoke about Hadiya Pendleton, the teen who was gunned down outside of her high school in January just a week after performing at the inauguration. "For me, this is personal," she confessed, noting that she grew up similar to the fallen teen.
"Hadiya was me," she said, "and I was her. But I got to grow up. And Hadiya? You know that story."
Powerful words, indeed. Obama concluded her speech by pleading for better education, safer neighborhoods and increased community involvement. She also asked business leaders to lend a much needed helping hand to the city's urban youth.
Who's going to answer the call?