Tens of thousands of people have made their way to State College the past two days to say a final good-bye to Joe Paterno.
On Tuesday alone, Penn State officials estimate that 27,000 people attended Joe Paterno’s viewing.
Wednesday morning thousands more passed through to pay their respects.
It was a scene that has played out for few Pennsylvanians before. Thousands of people lined up to pay their respects to long-time football coach Joe Paterno.
Once again Wednesday morning, the lines were long outside the Paterno viewing. Waits were at times more than an hour, but for many in Nittany Nation, that did not matter.
“This line doesn’t deter me at all. I’m here to pay my respects to this man. I can’t say enough,” said Rob Wywiorski of Towanda.
Wywiorski one of the thousands from northeastern and central Pennsylvania who came to say good-bye.
“This man’s star should burn bright for all through the history of this university. As long as this university is here, his name should be part of it,” added Wywiorski.
The viewing the past two days has been a quiet tribute. Paterno’s casket was laid with white roses on top, with an honor guard of a current and former player by its side.
At times, family members were there to greet the mourners. That happened Wednesday morning and few left the viewing without wiping away tears.
“Jay’s in there, greeting everybody and I told him, he won’t be forgotten,” said Steve Orloski of Moscow. He said the emotions are overflowing for many, especially getting a chance to give Jay Paterno hugs and support for the loss of his dad. “I just had to come down here because you see him every week on the field and you see what’s going on it makes you emotional.”
“Joe dedicated his life to this university and the football team and I just wanted to pay my respects,” said Kurt Nagel of Williamsport.
The private family funeral for the legendary coach begins at 2 p.m. today. Following the funeral, a procession will make its way through campus, past Beaver Stadium and down College Avenue.
A public memorial service will be held at 2 p.m. Thursday at the Bryce Jordan Center. It will be televised live on WNEP and on WNEP.com.