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Family and friends gathered Sunday night to celebrate what would have been the 16th birthday of Hadiya Pendleton, who was fatally shot in January.

Pendleton’s death made national headlines after the young teen, who had just returned from performing at the President’s inauguration, and was gunned down nearly a mile from Obama’s Kenwood home.

Sunday marked Pendleton’s 16th birthday.

Though the young teen didn’t survive to see her sweet 16, those who loved her said her spirit was at the celebration.

“Just the joy that came over everybody at the same time singing happy birthday… she was there,” said her mother Cleopatra Pendleton.

The group gathered in Pendleton’s honor singing “happy birthday” and releasing balloons into the sky.

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article courtesy of NBCChicago.com

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