West Virginia doesn’t get older this week, it’s just going to get better

No, it’s not your birthday and you probably just came off a vacation.

But if you need a reason to celebrate and do a little bit of traveling this is still the week for it.

On Wednesday, West Virginia will celebrate its 155th birthday. And to mark the occasion the state’s Tourism Office is sponsoring a campaign or two on social media. It’s also marking the state’s birthday with its first batch of Almost Heaven stickers to hand out.

We applaud the state’s Tourism Office and the governor for striving to bring a new dynamic to West Virginia’s tourism industry.

Our newspaper has for years insisted that this industry is an important cog in the transition to a different West Virginia, including its economy. The economy that formerly relied on mining and manufacturing bears little resemblance to the service and information economy of our present and future.

However, some things have not changed and probably the most important one is our hills and valleys and the rivers and streams that run through them. That’s despite the ravages of time, some excesses by industry and continuing variable and extreme weather.

No matter how long you have lived in West Virginia or how long you have been away our state’s beauty remains unrivalled.

Yes, our population has continued to shrink for many reasons but our pride in our state continues to grow. You’ll find there’s a lot of elbow room when you visit the trails, the fishing holes, the parks, the communities and the people.

We encourage everyone to travel to parts of our state they are not familiar with this week, or as soon as you can, and see what you missed.

Or to places in your past that you know are still there, but that may have grown or shrunk a bit.

It’s not in our character to gloss over our state’s flaws and shortcomings ranging from our roads to our government.

Yet, there’s far more beauty and abundance about our state that doesn’t require any make-up or needless worries about her age.

Our state’s birthday this week is the perfect opportunity to not just sing our praises to the world on social media and elsewhere.

It’s a perfect time to take a road trip or just a walk in any one of our state’s 55 counties, including your own.

Happy birthday, West Virginia.

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