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Gun victims top Obama’s State of the Union invite list

- The Washington Times - Tuesday, February 12, 2013

There's a gun-control theme among the guests who will sit in the first lady's box at President Obama's State of the Union address Tuesday night, including the parents of a slain Chicago teen, a teacher at Sandy Hook Elementary School and a police officer who was wounded in a Wisconsin shooting massacre.

Sitting with first lady Michelle Obama will be Cleopatra Cowley-Pendleton and Nathaniel Pendleton Sr. of Chicago, whose daughter Hadiya was murdered by gunmen Jan. 29 soon after she had marched with her high school band in Mr. Obama's inaugural parade. Mrs. Obama attended the girl's funeral.

Joining them will be police Lt. Brian Murphy of Oak Creek, Wis., who was shot 15 times during a massacre at a Sikh temple in August, and Kaitlin Roig, a first-grade teacher in Newtown, Conn., where six educators and 20 students were killed by a gunman in December.

Mr. Obama is expected to renew his call for gun-control measures during his speech.

Also on the first lady's guest list are:

• Marine Sgt. Sheena Adams of Vista, Calif., who was decorated for her service in Afghanistan.

• Alan Aleman, an illegal immigrant and student from Mexico who signed up for Mr. Obama's "deferred action" program to allow him to remain in the U.S. for up to two years.

• Marine Sgt. Carlos Evans of Cameron, N.C., who was wounded during his fourth deployment to Afghanistan.

• Jill Biden, wife of Vice President Joseph R. Biden.

• Valerie Jarrett, senior adviser to the president.

• Tim Cook, CEO of Apple Computers.

• Jack Andraka, 16, of Crownsville, Md., winner of the 2012 Intel International Science and Engineering Fair for developing a new method of detecting pancreatic cancer.

• Susan Bumgarner of Norman, Okla., an early childhood educator.

• Deb Carey of New Glarus, Wisc., a small-business owner of a brewing company.

• Menchu de Luna Sanchez of Secaucus, N.J., a registered nurse who devised a plan to transport at-risk infants to safety during a power outage caused by Superstorm Sandy.

• Bobak Ferdowsi of Pasadena, Calif., flight director of the Mars Curiosity Rover.

• Bradley Henning of Louisville, Ky., a machinist in the manufacturing industry.

• Tracey Hepner of Arlington, Va., co-founder of the Military Partners and Families Coalition.

• Peter Hudson of Evergreen, Colo., a physician who has pioneered technological advices in the health care field.

• Governor John Kitzhaber of Oregon.

• Mayor Marie Lopez Rogers of Avondale, Ariz., president of the National League of Cities.

• Amanda E. McMillan of Jackson, Miss., a victim of pay discrimination.

• Lee Maxwell of Wilton, Iowa, a technician in the wind-power industry.

• Lisa Richards of Arlington, Va., a single mother who supported Mr. Obama's push for middle-class tax cuts.

• Abby Schanfield of Minneapolis, a patient who benefited from the Affordable Care Act.

• Haile Thomas, 12, of Tucson, Ariz., an advisory board member with the Alliance for a Healthier Generation.

• Desiline Victor of Miami, 102-year-old naturalized citizen from Haiti who waited several hours to vote during Florida's early voting in October.

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