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Officials Resign Amid Backlash After Veteran's Mic Was Cut For Talking About Race In Memorial Day Speech


Retired Army Lt. Col. Barnard Kemter's speech on Memorial Day was censored when his microphone was cut by organizers. The veteran dared bring up the subject of Black people's role in the creation of Memorial Day.

In response, a number of officials representing the Hudson American Legion Auxiliary, a branch of the American Legion of Ohio, resigned after backlash over cutting the microphone for 2 minutes of Kemter's 11-minute speech.

The organization VoteVets restored the censored part of Kemter's speech and shared it online.

Cindy Suchan, the President of the Hudson American Legion Auxiliary, officially resigned, according to the American Legion of Ohio.

In her initial response to the incident, Suchan said either she or another official had been the one to lower the audio because it "was not relevant to our program for the day....the theme of the day was honoring Hudson veterans."

Kemter himself was very dismayed by this choice.

"I find it interesting that [the American Legion]…would take it upon themselves to censor my speech and deny me my First Amendment right to [freedom of] speech...This is not the same country I fought for."

Jim Garrison, the other person Suchan alluded to who "may have" turned down the audio, resigned from his position as adjutant of Hudson American Legion Lee-Bishop Post 464 as well, following an investigation by the American Legion Department of Ohio officials.

The investigation found the cutting of Kemter's mic was "pre-meditated and planned by … Garrison and … Suchan." The department also suspended Hudson's charter "pending permanent closure."

Neither Suchan nor Garrison commented on their resignations.