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Thousands gather for Paterno memorial service

- Associated Press - Thursday, January 26, 2012

STATE COLLEGE, PA. (AP) - Thousands of mourners and well-wishers are joining Joe Paterno's family and other invited guests for a memorial service for the late football coach.

Guest began arriving shortly before the service at the Penn State basketball arena, where outdoor video boards flashed a stylized likeness of the Hall of Famer.

Ohio State coach Urban Meyer sat near the front of the crowd. Paterno's son and former assistant Jay exchanged hugs and greetings with guests before the ceremony.

A capacity crowd of more than 12,000 was expected, including more than 10,000 members of the public who snapped up tickets in about seven minutes Tuesday.

Thousands of people filed by Paterno's casket during a two-day viewing, then lined the streets to Beaver Stadium for a final goodbye after his funeral Wednesday.

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