CHARLESTON, W.Va.¬†—¬†Dozens of state workers were honored Tuesday afternoon during the annual public employees recognition ceremony at the state Culture Center in Charleston.

Gov. Jim Justice and his cabinet secretaries recognized some of the employees that have been with the state the longest including six employees who have worked for the state for more than 50 years.

“Ya know I commend you for living as long as you’re living,” Justice said. “It’s amazing. That’s really just tremendous stuff.”

Justice said there were many more workers who had been employed by the state for more than 30 years.

Justice told the workers he was guessing many them wanted to work for the state to help West Virginia.

“I decided to run for governor not wanting a thing and I’ll bet you, in so many ways, that most of you have decided and opted for a career in government, in service, in many ways because you care about the betterment of West Virginia,” Justice said.

Justice called the long-serving workers, patriots.

“I can never thank you enough,” Justice said.