Anchorage's nearly 300,000 residents got a glimpse of the city's famous star on Mount Gordon Lyon in the Chugach Mountains on Sept. 11, in recognition of those who lost their lives during the 9/11 terrorist attacks. Though dark now, the star will return Nov. 23, the day after Thanksgiving, and continue to glow all winter, until the final musher in the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race crosses the Nome finish line in late March.

The star is more than a half-century old. It was the brainchild of U.S. Army Capt. Douglas Evert, commander for B Battery, 4th Missile Battalion, 43rd Artillery, who had his men construct a 15-foot star that first shone on May 5, 1959. It rested atop the gatehouse of Site Summit, the location of a Nike Hercules missile battery until 1979.

City dwellers could barely make out such a small star, so ...