Vigil held on anniversary of Paterno's death

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UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. -- It lasted for 25 minutes. Maybe 200 people attended. It was close to zero degrees outside. This was the Joe Paterno candlelight vigil for the one-year anniversary of his death.

The small crowd was gathered around the Heister Street mural in downtown State College on Tuesday night. The vigil was organized in part by Melinda Wright and Michael Pilato, who painted the Heister Street mural.

Mr. Pilato was the only one to address the crowd.

"We're all here as family," he said.

Mr. Pilato spoke of unfair treatment for Mr. Paterno, highlighting the split in people who believe, as the Freeh Report concluded, that Mr. Paterno had a substantial role in covering up one of Jerry Sandusky's child sexual abuse crimes and those who still consider the man a legend.

The crowd by the mural clearly belonged to the latter group. After Mr. Pilato spoke, there was a moment of silence and then the crowd chanted Mr. Paterno's name.

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Mark Dent: mdent@post-gazette.com, Twitter @mdent05.


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