SWITZERLAND: Shadows on the Alps

Atop the white-capped Swiss Alps, giant fires blazed skyward. While church bells tolled and golden-tailed rockets sped through the night, gaily lighted boats, like graceful waltzers on a vast mirror, drifted across the Lake of Zurich. This Aug. 1, 655 years had passed into history since the day in 1291 when peasants of the old cantons first learned from signal fires on the peaks that Habsburg rule had ended. This year as always, nearly all the day's eloquent oratory, in big cities or small hamlets, ended with the sentence from Schiller's William Tell: "Wir wollen frei sein wie...

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