Happy 150th Birthday, West Virginia! A state that I have been proud to call home for (almost) 23 years.
It’s hard to explain the pride that West Virginians have for our state. We are a people who can name our state bird, state food, state insect, state flower, etc. on command (like Jennifer Garner did here), and who will never let those who aren’t from here talk crap about where we’re from. It was always different being the out-of-stater while I was in college in Ohio. I got teased a lot because I knew so much about my home state.
In 1963, for our Centennial celebration, then President John F. Kennedy stood on the state capitol steps and said this about our state:
“The sun does not always shine in West Virginia, but the people always do, and I am delighted to be here. In many other places this crowd would long ago have gone home, but this State was born in a period of difficulty and tension. 1863 was marked by three extraordinary events–the birth of this State, the Emancipation Proclamation, and the Battle of Gettysburg.
This State was born to turmoil. It has known sunshine and rain in a hundred years, but I know of no State, and I know this State well, whose people feel more strongly, who have a greater sense of pride in themselves, in their State and in their country, than the people of West Virginia. And I am proud to be here today.”
Today, I pay tribute to the beautiful scenes, the mountains, the valleys, the pepperoni rolls, Tudor’s Biscuits, its’ natural resources, the Appalachian Trail, the hard-working people, the state parks, the strong heritage and the rich history of our state. West Virginians are the friendliest, most helpful people you will ever meet, I guarantee it. No matter where a West Virginian goes, we carry the pride of our state with us.
I have never been prouder to call this place my home.
PS- In honor of WV’s Sesquicentennial, this blue and gold (our state colors!) ensemble was fun to put together:Follow along: