We are living in difficult times; the spread of coronavirus did not spare any nation on the planet. For the first time we have all become one as every nation, every race, and every religion is united in the fight against this novel virus. This is the time when we show our humanity and solidarity conveying the messaged that we shall act together and be each other’s support in this worldwide battle.
The Swiss have shown their support to USA in their fight against the coronavirus pandemic. Namely, for a few hours on April 16, the popular Matterhorn on the Swiss Alps was illuminated with the American flag telling the American nation that although they are far away from Switzerland the Swiss are there for them.
Currently, USA leads all countries in terms of count of COVID-19 infections, up to now there are 665,330 confirmed cases. According to recent data of WHO – The World Health Organization, in 213 countries there are 2,164, 111 confirmed COVID-19 cases and has taken the toll of 146,198 deaths.
Zermatt Matterhorn, a Swiss tourism organization, stated the following:
“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 American flag was being projected onto the 14,692 foot tall peak in the Swiss Alps, and it has been installed by the well-known light artist Gerry Hofstetter. The light display itself is really magnificent showing nightly series that have the purpose to offer hope and support for all the people who fight the virus.
“The Matterhorn has always been a symbol of Switzerland and a place of strength and stability. Zermatt is convinced: as strong as the Matterhorn, so strong must the society stand together, be anchored and let the storm pass.”
In addition to this, Zermatt Matterhorn wrote:“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 global crisis.”
Gerry Hofstetter is worldwide established artist that has been projecting images for years on various landmarks like monuments, buildings, mountains, and icebergs. He creates temporary art installations that are impacting and exciting. Many people remember his art work in honoring the 100th anniversary of the Titanic’s sinking. In 2012, he shined a full-sized image of the Titanic onto a huge Antarctic iceberg, amazing, isn’t it?
This artist is not only master in lights, but he is also athlete, event designer, and helicopter pilot with remarkable military experience. His military experience is versatile and overwhelming, namely he is retired captain of the Mountain Grenadier in the Swiss Armed Forces, specialist in special operations and in search and rescue mountain warfare, sniper and explosives expert, and instructor in combat tactics in the Alpine region.
As a light artist he has won many awards in Switzerland and abroad. He applied his extensive lightning display on the Swiss Alps and since March 24 he has been lighting up the Matterhorn. He displays different images and thus sending the message of positivity to the people in the world who need them a lot in these challenging times.
The Matterhorn did not light up only the American flag, but it has been adorned with the flags of Italy, France, Germany, the United Kingdom, Japan, and other countries who are struggling with this unknown virus to humanity. The flags are followed with the hashtags #hope and #allofus.
When their neighbor Germany has been affected with the virus, the German flag was projected, and then Zermatt Matterhorn stated:
“Like many European countries, our neighboring country Germany is suffering greatly from the Corona crisis.
Many German citizens have a close relationship with Switzerland and Zermatt. With the German flag on the Matterhorn, the Swiss symbolic mountain, we send a sign of solidarity across the currently closed borders and look forward to the time when mutual visits are once again possible.”
The Japanese flag was also projected on the mountain peak, and then Zermatt Matterhorn wrote the following statement:
“Switzerland and Japan have maintained a close exchange for many decades. With Myoko and Fujikawaguchiko, Zermatt has two sister cities in the land of the rising sun. We greet our Japanese friends, partners and guests and send them a sign of hope and strength to overcome this unusual and difficult time.”
This is a popular tourist destination always packed with visitors, but the Matterhorn projected the following slogan “Dream now — Travel later”. It encourages people to stay at home and thus protect their health as there will be time when they can fulfill their travel dreams.
Zermatt Matterhorn maintained: “We know that you are longing to visit us. Soon we can meet again. For the moment, however, health is our priority. But dreaming is not prohibited. We support you with great pictures in this travel-free time and send you our best wishes from the Matterhorn.”
“We know not every property owner can do what we’re able to do, but we are. The dollar amounts, although meaningful, are something we can live without for a few months.”