The folks over at Zermatt Matterhorn Tourism commissioned light artist Gerry Hofstetter to create beautiful projections of international flags. It has brought people together.
The ongoing global public health crisis has shown us that now, more than ever before, is the time to work together. Over the past few weeks, we have seen communities come together in order to make sure everyone - including the most vulnerable - are safe and healthy. The international scientific community, moreover, has joined hands in order to develop a vaccine for the novel Coronavirus. Now, in another heartening move, a village in Switzerland has been projecting flags of countries suffering from outbreaks of the deadly virus in an act of solidarity. The authorities in charge of this initiative hope it becomes a symbol of hope.
The light artist Gerry Hofstetter was commissioned by the folks over at Zermatt Matterhorn Tourism to display beautiful renditions of various countries' flags across the mountain top. Ever since March 24, the mountain was lit up as a message of solidarity during these challenging times. The official website reads, "With this light projection, Zermatt wants to give people a sign of hope and solidarity in these difficult times. The village shows solidarity with all the people who are currently suffering and is grateful to all those who are helping to overcome the crisis." Countries such as India, France, Japan, Germany, the United Kingdom, Portugal, Spain, and many others have had their flags projected onto the Matterhorn.
Of course, the United States, too, had their moment. The country's flag lit up the mountain on April 16. The website reads in dedication, "As it stands, the USA is the country that has been most impacted by the crisis with the highest number of confirmed cases. Our thoughts are with all American people at this unprecedented time. May our message convey solidarity and give you hope and strength. We look forward to meeting again at the foot of the Matterhorn, we are all in this together." The Swiss Embassy in the USA also took note of the projection and posted a photo of the sight to Facebook. They wrote, "INCREDIBLE! As a sign of solidarity, the American flag was projected onto the Matterhorn last night. Switzerland is sending hope and strength to the United States of America."
Indeed, it was incredible. Other Facebook users, too, were of the same opinion. Cindi Thoni Allen, an American, commented, "I watched it via webcam. It was awesome. Thank you, Switzerland!" Deb Janiak added, "Beautiful! I am teary with gratefulness. Thank you for reaching out to show love and kindness. All of a sudden it was like a huge embrace. God bless Switzerland." Rich Walter Iseli wrote, "During trying times like this, any gesture of encouragement, a sign of better times to return... The sentiments are heartwarming, and when it comes from a place you grew up [in], it’s very, very special. Thanks, Zermatt, thanks, Switzerland."
The projections are almost as incredible as the Switzerland's efforts to provide millions of dollars in international aid so as to fight off a deadly virus. The European country announced plans to commit CHF400 million (which is about $410 million) to mitigate the consequences of the ongoing outbreak in developing countries, Swissinfo.ch reports. Switzerland's Foreign Minister Ignazio Cassis stated, "A global crisis requires a global response. It is necessary to show solidarity with people in other countries, especially in poor countries." Details of where this aid will be delivered are yet to be released. Though it may have taken a deadly outbreak, the world is finally coming together in order to support each other.