A casket holding the body of Hadiya Pendleton's is moved to a hearse after her funeral in Chicago, February 9, 2013. Pendleton, 15, was fatally shot on Jan. 29 as she and her friends shielded themselves from rain under a canopy in a Chicago park in what police say was a case of mistaken identity in a gang turf war. Pendleton, a sophomore at Martin Luther King Jr. College Prep, had performed with her school band eight days earlier at President Barack Obama's inauguration. A $40,000 reward has been offered in the case. REUTERS/John Gress (UNITED STATES)

Hundreds mourning slain Chicago girl

Hadiya Pendleton, 15, was fatally shot on Jan. 29 as she and her friends shielded themselves from rain under a canopy in a Chicago park in what police say was a case of mistaken identity in a gang turf war. Pendleton, a sophomore at Martin Luther King Jr. College Prep, had performed with her school band eight days earlier at President Barack Obama’s inauguration. A $40,000 reward has been offered in the case.

Ronnie Chambers Jr. looks down towards his collapsed mother Tahitah Myles during a funeral for the boys father Ronnie Chambers on February 4, 2013 in Chicago. Shirley Chambers of Chicago had four children - three boys and a girl. Now they're all gone. Her son, Ronnie Chambers. was the last of the single mother's children ' all victims of gun violence in Chicago over a period of 18 years.s. REUTERS/John Gress

One of life’s lessons: Chicago’s violent legacy gets personal

Its not every day that an assignment teaches you something about your own childhood. When I was 7 years old my father, who shared my name, passed away and when I looked down today, I saw a boy, Ronnie Chambers Jr., who is about he same age as I was back then, sitting at my feet with RIP carved in the back of his hair. He was there mourning the loss of his father, who also shared the same name.