American Legion Post’s charter is suspended, leader resigns in wake of Memorial Day microphone cutoff
AKRON, Ohio (Tribune News Service) — Hudson's American Legion post has had its charter suspended and its leader has resigned after a veteran's mic got cut while he spoke about Black Americans' role in the history of Memorial Day.
The actions come four days after the leader of the Hudson legion and head of the legion's auxiliary were involved with cutting Lt. Col Bernard Kemter's microphone during a Memorial Day ceremony in Hudson as he discussed Black Americans' role in an early holiday observance.
Roger Friend, department commander of the American Legion Department of Ohio, on Thursday suspended the charter for American Legion Lee-Bishop Post 464 in Hudson. The organization's executive board members on Friday morning "unanimously stood with him" on the decision, according to Suzette Heller, the state Legion's Department Adjutant.
After the Hudson post is given a chance to respond, the American Legion will retrieve all possessions of the Hudson post and move its members to Streetsboro's American Legion Post 685, Heller said.
Heller said Jim Garrison, adjutant of American Legion Lee-Bishop Post 464, called her Friday to say he had resigned from his leadership position.
Cindy Suchan, who chairs the Memorial Day Parade committee and is president of the Hudson American Legion Auxiliary, has not resigned, but Heller said her case is being handled by the American Legion Auxiliary of Ohio. She said while Friend also asked Suchan to resign from her role as president of the Hudson American Legion Auxiliary, the issue falls into the state auxiliary's jurisdiction.
An official with the American Legion Auxiliary of Ohio told the Beacon Journal that they are meeting Friday to discuss Suchan, but declined further comment.
Garrison and Suchan also are being asked to give up their memberships in the American Legion and American Legion Auxiliary and to apologize to the city of Hudson, all American Legion organizations, its members, veterans, and people of all backgrounds, Heller said.
Friend on Thursday asked for both Suchan and Garrison to resign from their positions after the state office's investigation determined "Officers of American Legion Post 464 intentionally censored Lt. Col Bernard Kemter, US Army (Ret.) during his Memorial Day speech hosted by American Legion Post 464 of Hudson, Ohio."
Garrison and Suchan could not be immediately reached Friday for comment.
Suchan previously said it was either her or Garrison who turned down the audio at Monday's Memorial Day ceremony as Kemter spoke. When pressed, she would not say who specifically did it.
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