More Memorial Day mic cut fallout: Hudson American Legion Auxiliary leader resigns

Phil Keren
Akron Beacon Journal
In this image captured from Hudson Community Television, retired Army Lt. Col. Barnard Kemter gives a Memorial Day speech in Hudson. The leaders of the Hudson American Legion Auxiliary and the American Legion Lee-Bishop Post 464 have resigned following outcry over a decision to turn down Kemter's microphone when he discussed Black Americans' role in the history of Memorial Day.

Another organizer of Hudson's Memorial Day ceremony has resigned amid national outcry after a veteran's microphone was cut when he talked about Black Americans' role in the holiday's history.

Cindy Suchan has stepped down from her position as president of the Hudson American Legion Auxiliary, according to Suzette Heller, department adjutant for the American Legion Department of Ohio.

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Heller said she was notified by the American Legion of Auxiliary on Sunday that Suchan had resigned.

"All parties involved in the events that occurred at the Memorial Day ceremony at the Hudson Post have resigned," the American Legion Auxiliary of Ohio announced Monday on its website.

The American Legion Auxiliary of Ohio on Friday requested Suchan's resignation in connection with a Memorial Day speaker's microphone being cut for about two minutes of his 11-minute speech.

Messages left Monday for Suchan and Kelly Gibson, department secretary-executive director for the American Legion Auxiliary of Ohio, were not immediately returned.

Suchan is the second person involved with the Memorial Day incident who has resigned. Jim Garrison on Friday stepped down from his position as adjutant of Hudson American Legion Lee-Bishop Post 464.

Suchan previously said it was either her or Garrison who turned down the audio of retired U.S. Army Lt. Col. Barnard Kemter as he spoke about Black Americans' role in the history of Memorial Day. When pressed, she would not say who specifically did it.

Suchan earlier told the Beacon Journal Kemter's mic was turned down because it “was not relevant to our program for the day," and added the “theme of the day was honoring Hudson veterans.” 

The American Legion Department of Ohio officials said they requested the resignation of Garrison and Suchan after an investigation found the "censoring" of Kemter's speech was "pre-meditated and planned by … Garrison and … Suchan."

American Legion state officials also suspended the Hudson post's charter last week "pending permanent closure."

Reporter Phil Keren can be reached at pkeren@thebeaconjournal.com, or on Twitter at @keren_phil.