One example: a Memorial Day speech by a veteran in Akron, Ohio. It wasn’t the speaker who was at fault; he was trying to tell the story of the first Memorial Day observance, by freed slaves in 1865. The organizers cut his mic to prevent him from being heard.
What at first blush appeared to be a short audio malfunction at Monday’s Memorial Day ceremony in Markillie Cemetery turned out to be anything but.
A ceremony organizer turned off the microphone when the event’s keynote speaker, retired Army Lt. Col. Barnard Kemter, began sharing a story about freed Black slaves honoring deceased soldiers shortly after the end of the Civil War.
The microphone was turned down for about two minutes in the middle of Kemter’s 11-minute speech during the event hosted by the Hudson American Legion Lee-Bishop Post 464.
Cindy Suchan, who chairs the Memorial Day parade committee and is president of the Hudson American Legion Auxiliary, said it was either her or Jim Garrison, adjutant of American Legion Lee-Bishop Post 464, who turned down the audio. When pressed, she would not say who specifically did it.
There had been some previous email back-and-forth between Kemter and Suchan/Garrison in which the organizers objected to including the mention. I might have given them some leeway if the speech had been excessively long and needed substantial cuts, but that isn’t the case for an appropriately brief 11 minute speech. Suchan and Garrison admitted that they’d turned off the sound, but haven’t said why they thought Kemter’s words were objectionable.
We can all guess why, though. Of the thousands of Memorial Day speeches that were given all across the country, Garrison and Suchan have succeeded in making this one newsworthy, and have called attention to themselves in a negative way. Smart move!