White Sands Test Center > Featured News > WSMR lights star as beacon of hope

​The star on the mountainside will be lit starting March 26.

WSMR lights star as beacon of hope
Miriam Rodriguez/Missile Ranger Editor
March 27, 2020

​In a gesture of hope and unity White Sands Missile Range leaders made the decision to light the star on the mountainside in the midst of the COVID-19 situation.

"Starting tonight we will have the star lit so that it serves as a beacon of hope in these trying times for us," said WSMR Commander Col. Dave Trybula.

Starting March 26 the star will be lit every night. The recommendation to light the star, which is usually lit during the holidays, was made by a WSMR employee.

The state of New Mexico had 136 confirmed positive COVID-19 cases as of March 26, including one WSMR employee.

COVID-19 is a new illness that can affect your lungs and airways. It is caused by a virus called coronavirus.

WSMR Garrison Commander Col. Chris Ward said the idea of lighting the star came from a member of the WSMR workforce who thought it would be a nice sentiment.

"It can be a sign of hope and a return to normalcy during this most unusual period in our local and national communities," Ward said.

"This made me very emotional to know that there are others who feel it would be important to light the star," said Stephanie Jesson, a WSMR employee who made the recommendation.

Jesson said she felt it was important to light the star during this time of fear and uncertainty so that it may provide hope, and serve as a reminder of devotion.

"The star will be a constant, and a reminder that we don't have to carry our burdens alone," Jesson said. "As a community it can bind us together, and provide spiritual benefit, no matter the faith, through symbolism and sentiment."

Symptoms of coronavirus are a cough, a high temperature and shortness of breath.

Simple measures like washing your hands often with soap and water can help stop viruses like COVID-19 from spreading.

There is no specific treatment for coronavirus. Treatment aims to relieve the symptoms until you recover.