West Virginia is hard to define, but its people are special - WBOY.com: Clarksburg, Morgantown: News, Sports, Weather

West Virginia is hard to define, but its people are special

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  • Local NewsMore>>

  • North Central WV Weekend Outlook for April 18-20

    North Central WV Weekend Outlook for April 18-20

    Friday, April 18 2014 4:00 AM EDT2014-04-18 08:00:12 GMT
    With it being a holiday weekend, there's not much in the way of fairs or festivals scheduled, but there's still plenty to do around north central West Virginia. Saturday: Stonewall Resort, in Lewis County,
    With it being a holiday weekend, there's not much in the way of fairs or festivals scheduled, but there's still plenty to do around north central West Virginia. Saturday: Stonewall Resort, in Lewis County,
  • Try-Again Homes to Host Open House April 25th

    Try-Again Homes to Host Open House April 25th

    Friday, April 18 2014 12:12 AM EDT2014-04-18 04:12:24 GMT
    Try-Again Homes will hold an open house on Friday, April 25th, to educate potential foster parents, and encourage people to open their homes to foster children.According to Try-Again Homes, in the United
    Try-Again Homes will hold an open house on Friday, April 25th, to educate potential foster parents, and encourage people to open their homes to foster children.According to Try-Again Homes, in the United
  • The City Of Clarksburg Acquires A Historic Theater

    The City Of Clarksburg Acquires A Historic Theater

    Friday, April 18 2014 12:11 AM EDT2014-04-18 04:11:23 GMT
    The Robinson Grand TheaterThe Robinson Grand Theater
    Clarksburg City Council approved a second reading of the ordinance to acquire the Rose Garden Theater, Thursday night.
    Clarksburg City Council met Thursday night to discuss ‘The Robinson Grand Theater', also known as the ‘Rose Garden Theater', that the city plans to acquire. 
  • OPINIONState Journal EditorialsMore>>

  • Culture of corruption often fueled by weak economy

    Culture of corruption often fueled by weak economy

    Friday, April 11 2014 2:32 PM EDT2014-04-11 18:32:15 GMT
    West Virginia is burdened by a sad tradition of political corruption and graft.
    West Virginia is burdened by a sad tradition of political corruption and graft.
  • Only real change brings lasting prosperity

    Only real change brings lasting prosperity

    Friday, April 4 2014 6:00 AM EDT2014-04-04 10:00:15 GMT
    West Virginia's continual exploration and development of natural gas is the gateway to something better.
    West Virginia's continual exploration and development of natural gas is the gateway to something better.
  • Supreme Court inaction should spur in-state action

    Supreme Court inaction should spur in-state action

    Friday, March 28 2014 11:16 AM EDT2014-03-28 15:16:18 GMT
    The U.S. Supreme Court announced this week it will not review a case involving the Arch CoalSpruce No. 1 mountaintop removal mine.
    The U.S. Supreme Court announced this week it will not review a case involving the Arch CoalSpruce No. 1 mountaintop removal mine.

For 150 years old, West Virginia looks pretty good. Celebrations around the state will mark her Sesquicentennial — everything from concerts on the steps of the State Capitol to special screenings of West Virginia-themed films to seminars about our state's literary heritage. This is an exciting time and one we should celebrate with friends and family.

This also is a good time to ask what makes this place special. What is it that makes West Virginia different? Maps can't define us — we are North and South. Lewisburg typifies small-town southern charm, while Wheeling is a husky, brawny city with strong Rust Belt sensibilities; places are so very different, but, in many ways, very much the same. Geography's grip is just as tenuous. West Virginians are everywhere. We might live in New York or San Francisco or Charlotte or some other far-off locale, but we never stop calling West Virginia home.

Tyrants terrify our neighbors, yet we know we are always free and no one, no matter their rank or title, can deny us our birthright. Strong, independent, fierce and hardworking, West Virginians never back down from a challenge. Our forebearers overcame harsh, untamed conditions to settle a wilderness that either turned so many back or forced them to keep moving west. We were born of rebellion but created because we knew that sentiment of freedom so deeply ingrained in us and held so dear applied to everyone.

Tragedy and suffering have marked our existence, but those qualities have never defined us. Death lurked in every coal mine, every steel mill, every mountain ridge and every deep river, but we carried on, relying on faith and perseverance. Our resilience is strong because hard times had to be overcome.

We are unique for many reasons, but we are West Virginia because of our people. Some would say our greatest natural resource is coal or timber or gas, but what makes this state special are the men and women who live here. We are mountaineers, each and every one of us. That tradition of grit and determination did not stop with the modern era. Hard work is still our trademark. Although the challenges might be different, we press on. Giving up or giving in would be easier, but that passion for something more and something better has never waned. Even 150 years in, our struggle for a better tomorrow continues and we define ourselves and define this state by our willingness to always fight for a better West Virginia.