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"Almost Heaven' folks celebrating 152nd birthday on June 20

To The Daily Sun,

June 20 of this year, West Virginia will celebrate its 152nd anniversary of statehood. And, as many West Virginians believe, it deserves a celebration, and so a party is in order. All you fine folk who now make New Hampshire your home are invited to commemorate this delightful occasion next week.

Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin of West Virginia was invited to join us last June as we celebrated the 151st birthday of West Virginia. He regretfully declined. As busy as many governors are, traveling 17 hours for a New Hampshire version of your state's birthday would be rather above and beyond. However, the honorable Gov. Tomblin did send a message:


As governor, I'm pleased to see West Virginians celebrating our 152st birthday, even from as far away as New Hampshire! I'm sorry I'm unable to join you for this special occasion.

Pride in our state is one of our greatest assets, and I commend each of you for your unwavering commitment to West Virginia. I encourage you to enjoy this gathering to the fullest, reminiscing about your mountain home with dear friends and family.

The Mountain State is rich in time-honored tradition, as well as extraordinary natural beauty. From the gold dome of the Capitol to the excitement of white water rafting, there is truly something for everyone to enjoy; and I'm sure you each have your favorite memory of West Virginia.

Again, thank you for remembering the 151st anniversary of West Virginia's statehood. I hope you will have the opportunity to visit home soon!


(Signed) Earl Ray Tomblin, Governor

Yes, we do still call West Virginia "home," just like we say we're going "downtown" or just "up the street." So, if you now take your calls at "603" instead of "304" and would like more information about this gathering coming up next week, contact me at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. We'd sure love to have you all join us for a grand celebration of a place, a time and a people that resides deep in your bones no matter the miles between.

Montani Semper Liberi,

Catherine M. Reitz Tokarz

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Give you father your love and devotion throughout the year

To The Daily Sun,

Why do we seem incapable of celebrating Father's Day without the need to show our appreciation by buying yet another gift? Why does almost every father have the expectation of a gift as a true indication of someone's appreciation?

Like most of our holidays, Father's Day is no longer an occasion for reflection about the valuable role fathers play in the family and society. It's become just one more reason for merchants to be able to sell something and ramp up another frenzy of consumer spending.

Since its origin in the early 1900s, a then more well-meaning Congress resisted the pressure to make it a national holiday for fear that this most worthy celebration would become commercialized. It wasn't until 1972 that Richard Nixon bowed down to business pressure and opened the floodgates. Every year, it becomes less and less a time of reflection and devotion, and ever more about meaningless consumption.

Let's pass along a little wisdom to our children and break the consumer stranglehold this and other holidays have on our culture. Commit to giving your father your love and devotion throughout the year, and when he's least expecting it, maybe even a little gift.

Jon Godfrey

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