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HUDSON, OH (June 3, 2021) – The Mayor of Hudson and Hudson City Council released the following statement regarding the American Legion Veterans Memorial Service:
The Mayor of Hudson and Hudson City Council are disheartened to learn that the American Legion turned the sound off for a portion of retired Army Lt. Col. Barnard Kemter’s speech during the Legion’s Memorial Day Ceremony. The Legion explained that mentioning the role that people of color played in history of Memorial Day was “not relevant to our program for the day."
We condemn the actions taken by the American Legion to censor the comments of Lt. Col. Kemter. The decision disrespected the Lt. Col. who has valiantly served our country and was there to honor veterans in his speech, and it disrespected all Hudson and American veterans nationwide who made the ultimate sacrifice to preserve the freedoms we value as Americans.
The people who came to honor the brave men and women who died for our country were deprived of hearing the totality of comments the speaker intended as he honored America’s fallen. Veterans have done everything we have asked of them during their service to this country, and this tarnished what should have been a celebration of their service.
Hudson is a City that prides itself in our history as being the home of abolitionist John Brown and a stop on the underground railroad. We are committed to diversity, equity, and inclusion and to ensuring that the Constitutional rights of every person who lives, works, and visits our great City are protected.
We regret that retired Army Lt. Col. Kemter was treated this way by the American Legion while in our community. We remain committed to engaging in continuing communication and dialog to address issues of systemic racism and intolerance and their impact on individuals and on the community.
Craig A. Shubert, Mayor
William Wooldredge, Council President
Hal DeSaussure, At-Large
Nicole Kowalski, At-Large
Kate Schlademan, Ward 1
Chris Foster, Ward 2
Skylar Sutton, Ward 3
Beth Bigham, Ward 4