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Happy Birthday, West Virginia!

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West Virginia isn't any old state.

Any old state wouldn't have a legion of birthday wishes to it starting very early this morning. Any old state wouldn't inspire the same amount of passion and allegiance. Any old state wouldn't shape the identity of so many of its residents.

No, this is West Virginia, and for better or worse, this state is who we are and always will be. You can meet someone halfway across the world, and if by happenstance you're both from West Virginia, you've just met a friend. That just doesn't happen with other parts of the country.

So today, on our great state's 148th birthday, remember the things that make West Virginia so special. It's singing Country Roads at weddings as loud as you can. It's our motto, "Montani Semper Liberi," a phrase that seems to place West Virginia as a higher cause. It's the topography, as wild and wonderful as it was back in 1863 (OK, well, almost).

And, most of all, it's the people. Because, without the people, West Virginia might just be another state in the Union. Instead, it's the best.