In German the name of the flower translates directly to "noble and white". Historically the blossom has been touted as a love charm, proof of bravery and even as medicine to heal wounds and ward off evil. Edelweiss has long been the national flower Switzerland, and during WWI it was used as the symbol of the alpine troops in both Austria and Germany.
I marvel at the tiny white flowers, bravely springing from the steep, sharp crags. And, of course, I always associate them with the hopeful, sincere song the Captain sings in The Sound of Music. One of my favorites...
Every morning you greet me
Small and white, clean and bright
You look happy to meet me
Blossom of snow may you bloom and grow
Bloom and grow forever
Bless my homeland forever