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Public Memorial Service For Joe Paterno

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file photo (by David Bergman/Sports Illustrated/Getty Images)

file photo (by David Bergman/Sports Illustrated/Getty Images)

Jim Melwert Jim Melwert
Jim is a "morning drive" reporter for KYW Newsradio 1060, bringing...
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By Jim Melwert

STATE COLLEGE, Pa. (CBS) - Joe Paterno will be honored with a public memorial today here at Penn State’s basketball arena. The longtime coach was laid to rest yesterday, and thousands of people packed the streets around campus for his funeral procession.

People waited hours for the procession, the blue hearse carrying Paterno wound through campus, taking him past the library that carries his name, and past Beaver Stadium one last time.

His family followed, on board one of the blue school buses the football team rides to the stadium on game days. Joe’s widow Sue was sitting in the front seat where her husband traditionally sat.

The crowd a dozen deep in some places, people say they wanted to say goodbye, and also show their support to his family:

“It has to be them something after all this negativity that’s going to help them get through the difficulty of it. JoePa was just a part of everything here and it’s sad, we’re all sad.”

The crowds were nearly silent as the procession passed.

Paterno was fired in the wake of the Jerry Sandusky sex scandal, and there is still a lot of anger here towards the board of trustees at how that firing was handled.

A spokesman for Governor Tom Corbett tells KYW Newsradio the governor is NOT attending any services for Paterno because – despite reports to the contrary — he’s heard the family doesn’t want any members of the board at the services.

The three days of mourning wrap up this after with the public memorial at what will be a packed Bryce Jordan Center.

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