Happy Birthday, West Virginia

An editorial from The Exponent Telegram

CLARKSBURG, W.Va. — Like many states, West Virginia has had its ups and downs.

Born from the strife of the Civil War, the state celebrates its 151st birthday today.

Known for its rugged mountains and scenic beauty, over the years the Mountain State also has supplied plenty of manpower and firepower in one form or another.

The state’s history as a coal producer is well known. And while that may not be the politically correct position these days, West Virginia coal has powered much of the nation  for decades — and will continue to do so if allowed.

But West Virginia isn’t all coal mines and backwoods. Thanks to leaders like the late Sen. Robert C. Byrd, as well as others with vision, the state has developed a more diverse economy, including being on the leading edge of biometrics and other high technology.

And thanks to West Virginia University, the state also is known in other areas of innovation, especially health care.

West Virginia also is well-known for its people, including hundreds of thousands who have served in the military over the years.

Per capita, the Mountain State has given more of its sons and daughters to stand and fight for this country than most states.

It is that type of spirit and people’s willingness to help others that also makes West Virginia a great place to live.

Many times, we have interviewed folks at local fairs and festivals who say they moved here because it is a great place to raise their families…

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