STATE COLLEGE (KDKA) – People from all over, including those from the Pittsburgh area, paid their respects to Joe Paterno at today’s memorial service at Penn State University.

“He’s a legend, and he is what this university represents,” said Emily Biter of Robinson Township. “He is honor, he is legacy; he is Penn State football but he is so much more than that.”

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In all, 12,000 people filed into the Bryce Jordan Center to honor and remember the late coach.

“This really is a celebration of Joe’s life,” said Scott Graham, a Butler native. “In light of everything that’s happened these past couple weeks, no one loved Penn State more than Joe Paterno.”

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Tim King, Vice President of the Greater Pittsburgh Alumni Association said, “I think it says something about the character of the man and the impact that he’s made, that people would drive thousands of miles and stand in line for hours on a not so nice day just to pay their respects.”

Although tickets sold out extremely fast and the Byrce Jordan Center was not large enough to hold everyone who wanted to attend the memorial, students who could not be inside gathered together around campus to watch the memorial on TV.

Others are looking to honor Paterno in a different way. A petition is circulating online to name the field at Beaver Stadium ‘Paterno Field.’ The petition already has more than 33,000 signatures.

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David Highfield