- Posted January 24, 2012 by
State College, Pennsylvania
Team iReport featured this story
This iReport is part of an assignment:
Remembering Joe Paterno
A Community in Mourning
- zdan, CNN iReport producer
For those unfamiliar with the blue ribbon’s meaning, it is worn to promote awareness of child abuse and child abuse prevention. The mural serves as a reminder of the incongruous emotions knotting my stomach, and I pause to reflect. We have not only lost a revered man of our community, but an abject evil has invaded our once seemingly safe and sheltered home. With the Jerry Sandusky scandal firmly rooted in our hearts and minds, how do we come to terms with the layers of grief?
Our beloved champion wished he had done more. I think we all wish he and many others had done more. However, despite the vehemence spewed in online commentaries and social media, I still find myself caught somewhere in the middle. While I was not personally involved in the scandal, I feel shock, abhorrence, and sadness for the victims. It feels natural to want to scream and tear apart anyone who would let such depravities occur. Then again, my emotions are somehow tempered with memories of the decades of Joe Paterno’s innumerable good deeds.
Nearing my car parked just outside of Beaver Stadium, I look up to see the video board inside. There is a simple image displaying JoePa smiling down with his arms crossed, his name, and the years of his life. Despite all of the controversy, I feel no anger—only profound sadness. Happy Valley has suffered great loss and it seems fitting that both he and the victims be remembered.