A Swiss tradition: blasting away at the Ruetli

Swiss sharpshooters gathered for the annual Ruetli shooting

on the hallowed ground where the country was founded

Location: Ruetli Meadow, Switzerland

(SOUNDBITE) (German) SECRETARY OF "RUETLISCHUETZENGESELLSCHAFT ENGELBERG" SHOOTERS ASSOCIATION, MIKE BACHER, SAYING:"The Ruetli shooting goes back to the beginnings of the federal state that came into being in 1848. The origin lies in the reconciliation of the central Swiss cantons, which had a divided relationship with this young state. For this purpose, liberal protectors from Lucerne had invited their friends from the original Switzerland to come here to Ruetli every year to commemorate the covenant oath of 1291. At the same time, they wanted to hold a shooting match to build a bridge between the old confederation and the new federal state, to foster friendship and remember the forefathers who established federal freedom."

This year’s competition drew more than 1,000 shooters

Informal shooting competitions began in Ruetli in around 1861

and an official club founded in 1874 still runs the contest

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