Military Veteran Receives Apology After Having Microphone Cut Off During Memorial Day Speech

by Matthew Wilson
Photo by Robert Alexander/Getty Images)

The American Legion of Ohio has issued an apology to a military veteran after a Memorial Day Speech gone horribly wrong. Retired Army Lt. Col. Barnard Kemter held a speech discussing black history and contributions in the military when an organization member cut his mic.

The incident happened at an American Legion memorial at an Ohio cemetery. Kemter’s speech looked at the history of Memorial Day itself. During the speech, the veteran discussed the contribution freed slaves had in the creation of the national holiday. But his speech rubbed two Ohio American Legion Post Officers the wrong way.

Both James Garrison and Cindy Suchan decided to cut Kemter’s microphone in the middle of the speech. Kemter tried to salvage the speech, looking around to see what the issue was before making a nervous joke. But the impact of Kemter’s message had been affected by the sabotage.

Later Garrison contacted the veteran and apologized for what happened during the speech. Kemter considered the matter resolved with an apology. But American Legion decided to press forward and investigate the matter.

American Legion Post Officer Resigns After Muting Veteran

According to TMZ, the American Legion of Ohio revealed that Garrison has officially resigned as Post Officer from the organization. Currently, there’s no word on Suchan. But the organization said they’re pushing for Garrison to resign as a member as well. This comes after American Legion called for both of their resignations.

The American Legion of Ohio found that the action was deliberate. The organization revealed the two Post Officers intentionally sabotaged the veteran’s speech. The action was “premeditated and planned.”

Both of the officers intentionally muted the microphone at a certain moment during the speech. “They knew exactly when to turn the volume down and when to turn it back up.”

As a result, American Legion says the two broke their by-laws. So far, the organization suspended the local chapter responsible for the event. The organization said, “[American Legion] does not hold space for members, veterans, or families of veterans who believe that censoring black history is acceptable behavior.”

Neither Garrison nor Suchan has commented on their actions publicly. The event was held in honor of Memorial Day. The veteran said he wanted to honor African American contributions to the national holiday. His speech explored the first Memorial Day and how it arose as a result of casualties during the Civil War.

Kemter says he’s been grateful for the recent support in light of the incident.