Local ham radio operators are joining with their counterparts around the globe Sunday for a celebration of a relatively unheralded yet time-tested mode of communication that’s been relied upon to muster emergency services, bring people together over a distance and build friendships.
2021 World Amateur Radio Day (WARD) is set for Sunday, commemorating the 1925 foundation of the International Amateur Radio Union in Paris, France.
World Amateur Radio Day celebrates the pioneering achievements and ongoing service of radio amateurs, also known as ham radio operators. The theme for 2021 WARD is “Amateur Radio: Home but Never Alone,” acknowledging the variety of activities and opportunities in ham radio that help overcome the feeling of social isolation experienced by many of us during the current pandemic.
While physical distancing has limited many in-person activities to reduce the spread of the COVID-19 virus, many members of the Indiana County Amateur Radio Club (ICARC) have used their home radio stations to continue to practice their personal radio communications capability. Their use of radio signals, which reach beyond borders, brings people together culturally while providing essential communication in the service of communities.
ARRL, the national association for Amateur Radio® (www.arrl.org) in the US, reports that there are more than 3 million radio amateurs throughout the world. ARRL includes 2,400 affiliated radio clubs nationwide.
In today’s electronic do-it-yourself (DIY) environment, ham radio remains one of the best ways for people to learn about electronics, physics, meteorology, and numerous other scientific disciplines.
Some hams, including members of the Indiana County ARES/SKYWARN Team train. throughout the year to serve their communities during emergencies and disasters, such as hurricanes and wildfires, if the standard communication infrastructure goes down.
There are hams of all ages, from 9 to 100, and ICARC is always looking for new members.
When not in social distancing mode, ICARC offers training classes and exam sessions to perspective new hams to help them obtain their amateur radio license or “ticket” as it is referred to in the radio community. Information on those programs can be found on ICARC’s website www.qsl.net/w3bmd, or through the club’s Facebook page.
Those who want more information about World Amateur Radio Day and ham radio in Indiana County may contact Gary Miller, KC3NHE by email at KC3NHE@gmail.com or send a direct message to the ICARC Facebook page. Look for #WorldAmateur RadioDay posts on social media including the ICARC Facebook page.