With emotion, I think that removing the statue of Joe Paterno was the right thing to do. Why with emotion? Because in so many enduring ways, Joe Paterno remains a model of fortitude and spirited excellence. Because, I admit, I look up to Italian-American achievement with pride. Because tragedy -- which is what this story is in the truest sense -- is dramatic. And because for the message it sends about child abuse and its victims, it is the right thing to do. It is not uncommon to cry out of relief, too, that their terrible experiences shall not have been had in vain.
So, too, is it appropriate that Paterno's name on the library remain. Why the distinction? The statute represents that full tilt of power that came before the fall. Power that blinds, power that corrupts, power that causes even the most well-intended to forget or misread their own moral compass. The library represents knowledge, learning and humanity itself. With all of its flaws, and, with hope, tools to understand both deep challenges and soaring possibilities of everyday life.
As a man, Paterno now becomes a lesson to us all. May each and every one of us absorb that lesson, with honor.
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