Old Glory was waving her call to freedom at the Ranch Church last Saturday, May 29 as liberty lovers once again gathered to share mana‘o. As if verdant fields framed by majestic mountains weren’t enough of a welcome, the gentle breezes carried with them live Hawaiian melodies by the Ranch Church Worship Team.

There was no need to wonder whether folks would take time out of their Memorial Weekend as the spread of empty seats at the outdoor basketball court were soon packed. Amy Eck, a vision of strength as this proud mom of two and former-marine took the podium, doubled up on her conviction during these trying times and called us all to stand strong in faith with her. The tyranny that swept over her at the Kapiolani Freedom Rally in March has only served to find her standing taller.

Perhaps the most dynamic 15 minutes of the evening was when heavy metal lead singer David Sanchez, of the band Havok, took the stage. All of the passion that erupts on stage when he performs was channeled into his message. The atmosphere was electric as he poetically spoke the truth about the incremental injustices over the past year that are leading toward a vaccine passport system and the exact trajectory that will take. This brave spirit has attracted many millions of followers in the more than 70 countries he has toured. His powerful presence and eloquent words were just the jolt of “YES!” that we need more of, and we look forward to again hosting him in the future.

Dave Benson, retired HPD and former Vermont Police Chief, gave us a much-needed recap on our constitutional rights. His PowerPoint presentation took us through the three most important documents in American History, from the Declaration of Independence to the Constitution and finally, the Bill of Rights. Did you know we have a right to gather? A right to bear arms? A right to practice religion? In case this past year erased these rights from our collective memory, or in case anyone is young enough to not have learned about these rights in school over the past 30 years that our education system turned into a propaganda mill, this refresher was a breath of fresh, unmasked air!

Finally, of our featured speakers for the afternoon, Rene Conelly took the stage on behalf of Children’s Health Defense Hawaii. Noticeable at this particular gathering were keiki and their parents. Rene put out a call to join a new initiative “Parents Against Mandates.” With the poisoned needle coming for our keiki at ever younger ages – mandates on University students, and Vax Squad buses for high schoolers as young as 15 and now middle schoolers as young as 12, and with trials underway on infants – we need every parent and concerned community member to join the awareness campaign, from sign-waving in front of schools to letter writing and calling school boards and state reps.

A dear friend of AFC, Freddie Noa, gave an impassioned reminder that to make a difference, we need manpower and funding. Quite literally investing in our families’ futures does cost and the price is a pleasure compared to the cost of tyranny that’s overshadowing our state. The robust success of our May 15 Freedom Rally was the work of many dozens of volunteers and cost nearly $40,000. We are deeply grateful for the multitude of donations that have rolled in. We have not quite broken even yet, so we gratefully welcome your generosity (www.alohafreedomcoalition.org).

Two stalwart pillars of AFC, Pastor Bud Stonebraker and Gary Cordery, closed the evening. Bud, steward of the stunning sanctuary where we were all seated, brought humor, creative insight, and a local, faith-based perspective to the urgent situation at hand. Gary, the carpenter of our AFC ark, who has invited all aboard and keeps the bow on the horizon, lifting the drowning from the murky depths, bailing out the deluge tossed aboard by stormy seas, called us to take action. In a plan called Aloha 100, he invites each of us to 100 uninterrupted days of calls to people in power. We need to send a tidal wave of response telling our leaders that their ever-increasing mandates are not pono. They are supposed to be public servants, not authoritarian dictators. The message, “The time is now,” has never been more meaningful. This Memorial Weekend is a reminder of the untold sacrifice of centuries to bring us the freedom that the past year has all but left in tatters. This is an ideological battle and we are the soldiers, fighting the chaos and lies with light, faith and truth.

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