West Virginia is majorly underrated. We are often the butt of jokes. And lots of people don’t even realize we’re our own state, so they sure don’t get how amazing it is here. But if you have ever lived in West Virginia, you know our secret – that the Mountain State is the greatest place in the world. So the next time you hear someone hate on the Mountain State, you tell them the following:
1. We’re home to brave men and women who have served our country.
Like Hershel Woodrow "Woody" Williams, a retired Marine who earned the Medal of Honor and the Purple Heart for his actions during the Battle of Iwo Jima. Earlier this year he was honored by the Navy naming a ship after him.
2. We're probably more patriotic than a lot of places, actually.
We have a lot of veterans. According to the Washington Post in 2014, nine percent of our population were veterans.
3. World champions call West Virginia home.
That includes Fairmont native Mary Lou Retton, known as America’s Sweetheart, who won the gold medal for women’s gymnastics in 1984.
4. We have great sports teams.
No matter who you root for -- the Mountaineers, the Thundering Herd -- our teams are something to be proud of.
5. We have a LOT of musical talent.
West Virginia has a ton of really talented musicians -- like Brad Paisley (from Glen Dale) and Kathy Mattea (from South Charleston), for instance.
6. We’re the only state born from separating from a Confederate state during the Civil War.
That's something to be proud of.
7. We're also home to some very smart people.
...like John Nash. John Nash, of Bluefield, was a mathematician who made contributions to game theory, differential geometry, and the study of partial differential equations. He was a recipient of the 1994 Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences. He was also the subject of the movie “A Beautiful Mind.”
8. You probably can't handle our amazing whitewater. It's some of the best in the Eastern United States.
9. We have so much history here.
Like at Harpers Ferry, which was the site of John Brown’s raid, an armed insurrection in an attempt to overthrow the institution of slavery in the United States.
10. We have really talented writers and artists here.
Like Homer Hickam, author of Rocket Boys, who was born in Coalwood.
11. You can't deny how beautiful West Virginia is.
I mean, look at it.
What do you tell people when you hear them talking negatively about West Virginia?