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Hudson American Legion Post Suspended After Leaders Censored Memorial Day Speech

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Hudson Community Television
Cindy Suchan, left, chairs the Hudson Memorial Day Committee and is president of the Hudson American Legion Auxiliary. She was part of the decision to censor a portion of the speech by retired Lieutenant Colonel Barney Kemter, right.

The charter of Hudson American Legion Post 464 has been suspended after the post’s leaders censored the speech of a retired Lieutenant Colonel on Memorial Day.

Hudson’s Memorial Day ceremony made national news after organizers muted the sound system for about two minutes during a speech by retired Lieutenant Colonel Barney Kemter. Kemter was recounting information about the early origins of Memorial Day, describing how formerly enslaved Black Americans honored fallen soldiers after the Civil War.

State Rep. Casey Weinstein of Hudson calls the incident racist censorship and says it’s part of Hudson’s moment of racial reckoning. A veteran himself, he agrees with the Ohio American Legion’s decision to close the post indefinitely.

Hudson American Legion Post Suspended for Memorial Day Speech Censorship
State Rep. Casey Weinstein (D-Hudson) says the community is facing a racial reckoning.
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“It’ll create space for new leaders to step up in Hudson and maybe take the post in a new direction with new energy and with a more open and uncensored look into the history of our country and the history of the holidays, remembrances and celebrations.”

Current members of Hudson’s post are being transferred to Post 685 in Streetsboro. The Ohio American Legion demanded the resignation of Cindy Suchan, chair of the Memorial Day parade committee and president of the Hudson American Legion Auxiliary, and Jim Garrison, adjutant of Post 464, for their involvement in the censorship. Garrison resigned today.

Last week, Hudson City Schools announced they are investigating incidents of racist and homophobic remarks allegedly made by high school students while playing an online game at school.