This picture is a 100+ year old
painting descriptive of the gathering of tribe
clansmen at Ruti, Switzerland.
On August 1, representatives of the cantons
of Uri, Schwyz and Nidwalden
took an oath pledging their lives and fortunes
to preserve the independence of what came to
be Switzerland, our common origin.
To celebrate this anniversary of Switzerland's
Independence, the sounds of church bells ring
across Switzerland on each August the 1st. Churches
across Switzerland ring their bells at 8 p.m.
in the evening to commemorate the event. This
is equally as significant, as as July 4, 1776,
is to Americans.
Below is a "rough translation" of
the recorded event:
In the early evening, they had
left their lands and to the hidden place had
come. Tired and nevertheless content, they sat
down around the small fire. After each was welcomed
and introduced, Werner Stauffacher rose to a
stone, from which he could be well seen and
heard by each man of the group, who had come
from the three valleys.
"Brothers", he began to speak, in
a solemn rock hard tone, while the men rose:
"In the name of God, stand we here, and
each hand in each hand. A will, a goal, unites
us. Free men we want to be! In deepest urgency,
we promise to help each other stand together
in the fight against the Voegte [foreign ruler]
and to bend before no force. If one is among
you, which is not ready to sacrifice his life,
his property and his blood, then let him leave
No one moved. Everything was silent.
There Stauffacher spoke the solemn vow: "
Thus raise, my friends from Uri, Schwyz and
Unterwalden, your hand to the Oath! As God is
our witness, we have declared our liberty from
each strange power and force, to protect this
land for us and our children!"
Like a holy choir the oath rang
out at the quiet night: " We rise above
it." The hands lowered themselves, and
into the somber silence Walter Prince spoke,
like a prayer, the words: "God is with
you and your federation. My oath comrades!"
Staufacher continued: "Oath
comrades, we are decided, to drive out our adversaries.
Who knows a advice, express themselves! ...
[They counseled their plans long
into the night.]
"In the east it began to dawn. It was time
to the departure. Werner Stauffacher asked the
last question: "Are you willing to fight
... against the foes [Voegte] and their annexation
to dare?" As from a mouth the answer came:
"We dare it! God us will help us thus!"
Decided, the farmers went on their way home.