Ham radio is not an inalienable right! The privileges of ham radio have been suspended in United States of America during war and they can be permanently taken away in the future if we do not continue to prove our value. Part 97.1 of the Federal Communications Commission describes the basis and purpose of Amateur Radio within its jurisdiction (USA). Other countries would most likely have a similar statement in their Amateur Radio service rules and regulations.
FCC 97.1 tells us that (I summaries) the purposes amateur radio is to provide noncommercial communications, particularly emergency communications. To advance radio art, advance skills in communications and technical phases of radio, provide an existing reservoir of trained radio operators, technicians, and electronics experts, and to enhance international goodwill. Though personal enjoyment is not prohibited it is not included in the purpose.
In times past it was fairly easy to prove the importance of ham radio to society but today with cell phones, advanced electronics, and internet service it is harder for non-hams to see the importance. Politicians are fed by the public so it is the public that must be convinced that we provide an important service to society. We know the value of our service but how can we show the public our importance?
To prove our importance to the public we must be in front of the public doing what we do best, communicating. One of the best ways of doing this is by finding local activities that can be enhanced by our presence. Parades provide an excellent chance to do this by helping keep all the groups coordinated
through ham radio. Many other communities can also provide opportunity such as bike rides, trail hikes, street fairs, and any other activity where there may be the need of medical help, break down assistance, or coordination between people located in different areas of the activity.
Such activities not only helps us to be in the public eye but it also enhances our abilities and hone our skills so when the real emergency comes we will be ready.