After 10 years of shining red, white and blue, the Mill Mountain Star will go back to its original white illumination Sunday.
City Manager Chris Morrill said the change is coming about because "people were forgetting it was red, white and blue."
The city changed the neon star to red, white, and blue again in response to the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, and it's generally remained in that configuration since, except in 2007 for one month after the Virginia Tech shootings when it was changed to white, and then when it went dark for one night to commemorate that event's one-year anniversary.
Morrill told the Roanoke City Council on Tuesday that he received a call from a military veteran earlier this year requesting the star be changed to red, white and blue for Veterans Day. Morrill had to remind him the star was already illuminated in those colors.
So on Sunday - the 10th anniversary of the attacks - the star will go white once again. It will be turned red, white and blue for special occasions and holidays, including Veterans Day, Flag Day, Memorial Day, Independence Day and Sept. 11.
The bulbs for all three colors are already installed in the star, so to make the change, "you just flip a switch," Morrill said.
The star was originally built and lit in 1949 to promote the Christmas holiday season. It was all-white but changed occasionally to red to mark a traffic fatality.
The star also was lit red, white and blue in 1976 for the United States' bicentennial celebration, and then again in 1989 in honor of Roanoke's "All-American City" award.