Taking Pride In West Virginia Day

The American Civil War changed a lot of things about the United States and many of those wounds have still not healed and some reminders about the war will never go away. One of those reminders is the state of West Virginia and the residents of that state celebrate the creation of their state every year in June. It is an interesting holiday with a very interesting story to it.
When the Civil War broke out one of the states that decided they wanted to secede from the Union was Virginia. It was put to a vote but the counties in the northwestern portion of the state were uneasy with the notion of seceding from the North and those counties wanted to be a part of the United States and not part of the Confederacy. After civil war broke out the leaders in the trans-Allegheny portion of the state of Virginia which constitutes the northwestern counties pushed for the creation of a new state. After two years of intense and emotional legal battles the northwestern portion of the state of Virginia finally got their wish and, in the middle of one of the most violent and emotionally draining wars in the history of the United States, the state of West Virginia was created out of the state of Virginia and on June 20, 1863 the state of West Virginia was admitted to the United States.

After the Civil War was over residents of West Virginia began informally celebrating June 20th as a day to remember when they became part of the United States. Finally in 1927 the West Virginia Legislature officially recognized West Virginia Day as a day to be celebrated on June 20th of every year and a day to celebrate when West Virginia became a state of the Union. The biggest celebrations are usually held in the state capital of Charleston where West Virginia Day is officially recognized each year by the governor of West Virginia.

West Virginia will always bear the scars of the Civil War and there will always be a group of people within the state that will not agree with the steps taken to make it a separate state from the rest of Virginia so that it could join the United States. Some people feel that West Virginia abandoned its own people when it seceded from Virginia to join the United States and when the Civil War had ended there was still a faction of people that preferred to show their Confederate colors rather than their Union colors. As late as 1912 the veterans of the Confederacy used to meet in a town called Moorefield, West Virginia to talk about the Civil War and rekindle old friendships. The entire town would open their arms to all of the veterans and their families and there could be as many as 150 veterans attending events like this. Even though the event was held in October it still showed that not everyone in West Virginia was on board with the plan to join the United States.

West Virginia Day is a day when the people of West Virginia celebrate their inclusion into the United States during the Civil War but the notion of West Virginia Day can also be a dividing point among West Virginia residents. Celebrating West Virginia Day means celebrating the day when West Virginia became a border state and one of the few states created by United States Presidential decree. Through it all West Virginia Day means different things to different people and while there will always be an official recognition of West Virginia Day there may not always be a unified acceptance of the celebration of West Virginia Day.
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