The silence was deafening in the days after Joseph Vincent Paterno died. At the Paterno statue throughout the week, in the lines snaking across campus into the Pasquerilla Spiritual Center, and in the vast crowds lining the streets of campus and State College, tens of thousands of Penn State fans were reverentially silent as they honored Coach Paterno and helped guide him home. The sad week in Happy Valley ended with a touching and often times funny memorial service that celebrated Paterno’s life.
At Thursday’s “A Memorial to Joe,” more than 12,000 people packed the Bryce Jordan Center to celebrate and remember Coach Paterno’s life, his impact on Penn State and his influence on so many lives. It was a joyous celebration that ended with the lights of Beaver Stadium, “The House that Joe Built,” being turned out for the first time since his death on Jan. 22.
This photo package tells the story of a community coming out to say goodbye to a man who was one of the pillars of the Penn State community and the winningest coach in college football history.
The Paterno family recently announced that they will sell DVDs of “A Memorial to Joe,” with all proceeds going to charity. Details are being worked out and more information will be announced as available.