The Register-Herald, Beckley, West Virginia

June 21, 2013

Tamarack crowd hears from Lincoln on West Virginia’s 150th birthday

By Wendy Holdren
Register-Herald Reporter

BECKLEY — “West Virginia is not defined by being the most unusually shaped state in the Union, but by its people.”

President Abraham Lincoln (Jim Rubin) and Confederate States Army Maj. Sparrell Francis Hale (Steve Cassle) joined the Tamarack celebration of West Virginia’s 150th birthday Thursday, and spoke about how the state came to be, and what makes it so great.

The two impersonators were welcomed by Tamarack General Manager Cheryl Hartley.

“We’re here to celebrate West Virginia Day and it has become a very traditional event to have Abe Lincoln here.”

She also noted that Tamarack shares a birthday with West Virginia, marking its 17th year as “The Best of West Virginia.”

Tamarack Conference Center also marked its 10th year on June 20.

As Maj. Hale took the stage, he said, “We do this often and for a reason — to not forget our heritage.”

“We’re here to celebrate the birthday of West Virginia, which marked the 35th star on our flag.”

He reviewed much of our nation’s history and the birth of our state through the Civil War.

“West Virginians are very proud of where they come from. I’m reminded of the state motto: Montani Semper Liberi, Mountaineers are always free.”

He said West Virginians are free to dream and to teach our children to dream.

“Whether you were born and raised in the hills and hollers of West Virginia, or even those who came from out of state and fell in love with this place, the warmth and hospitality here, this is our birthday.”

President Lincoln reviewed some history as well and read the proclamation that made West Virginia a state.

One group of people at the event were all clad in blue and gold, with “West Virginia” emblazoned across their chests.

Pam Brown said, “We’re here from the Jackie Withrow Hospital and we’re glad to be West Virginians.”

— E-mail: wholdren@register-herald.com