Eulogies offer insight to JoePa
February 19. 2013 2:55AM
‚??But when you look at my driver‚??s license,‚?Ě he said, ‚??it says ‚??Joseph Vincent Paterno Jr.‚?? And I am so proud of that name.‚?Ě
So it was that Joseph Jr. delivered the final stirring speech for Joe Paterno on Thursday at ‚??A Memorial For Joe‚?Ě at the Bryce Jordan Center.
When addressing how Joe Paterno spent his last days ‚?? fired by the school he spent more than 60 years under the cloud of scandal ‚?? his son said only that ‚??Joe Paterno left this world with a clear conscience.‚?Ě
Jay Paterno was the 12th and final speaker of a group that gathered to say goodbye to the legendary Penn State coach, who died Sunday and was buried Wednesday.
Six lettermen ‚?? one from each decade that Joe Paterno coached the Nittany Lions ‚?? each delivered speeches along with students and family friends. Charlie Pittman (1960s), Pittston‚??s Jimmy Cefalo (70s), Todd Blackledge (80s), Christian Marrone (90s), Michael Robinson (2000s) and Michael Mauti from the current squad all shared their thoughts on their longtime coach.
Former Penn State player and coach Kenny Jackson provided an introduction. Nike chairman Phil Knight spoke, as did Susan Welch, Penn State‚??s Dean of Liberal Arts, and two students ‚?? Lauren Perrotti of the Paterno Fellows Scholar program and Jeff Bast, the first ‚??Mayor of Paternoville.‚?Ě
All 12,000-plus in attendance stood at the open and applauded as Joe‚??s wife of nearly 50 years, Sue Paterno, walked out onto the Jordan Center floor, linked arm-in-arm with her son David. Overwhelmed by the show of support, Sue went and embraced each of her five children and 17 grandchildren before the ceremony began with a prayer, an a cappella rendition of the Penn State alma mater and a video montage.
‚??He always reflected praise,‚?Ě Jackson, said of Paterno to begin the memorial. ‚??He never thought he was the show.
‚??But today, my teacher, you have no choice. Today we are going to show you how much we love you.‚?Ě
That thought was echoed at the end of the day when Jay Paterno stood up and quoted some of his father‚??s favorite authors, philosophers and historical figures.
He referenced the Greek playwright Sophocles, whom Joe quoted often.
‚??One must wait until the evening to truly see how magnificent the day has been.‚?Ě
‚??My father, Joseph Vincent Paterno, never wanted to look back, to be seated in the evening reflecting on the day past,‚?Ě Jay said. ‚??Once something was done, it was on to the next challenge.
‚??Well, Dad, you have no choice. The evening has arrived, and whether you like it or not, there are many here that have and will continue to reflect on the magnificent daylight of your life.‚?Ě
Finally, struggling to hold back tears, Jay Paterno recounted the final words he shared with his father before his death. This past Sunday morning at the hospital, when Jay knew Joe‚??s hour was at hand, he kissed his father and whispered in his ear.
‚??Dad,‚?Ě he said. ‚??You won. You did all you can do. You‚??ve done enough. We all love you. You won.
‚??You can go home now.‚?Ě