17:30 EST 20 November 2012
A photo of a Massachusetts woman flashing her middle finger at Arlington National Cemetery has sparked widespread disgust across the web and prompted an online petition to get the woman fired from her job.
Lindsey Stone posted the picture of herself making the obscene gesture at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, next to a sign at the military cemetery that asks for ‘Silence and Respect,’ in October and the snapshot quickly went viral.
Stone issued an apology for the picture on Wednesday, calling her gesture a ‘visual pun’ and saying she now realizes the picture ‘was in incredibly poor taste’ but an unidentified Facebook user has launched an effort to alert her employer to the outrageous behavior and has been gathering support to get the woman ousted from her job for her disrespect.
Stone, who lives in Cape Cod, visited the sacred military cemetery in Arlington, Virginia in October on an outing with the non-profit organization where she works, LIFE organization.
LIFE, stands for Living Independently Forever, and is a community for adults with disabilities.
Stone was among eight staff members that traveled with the group of 40 residents to the nation’s capital for this trip. Photos from the organization’s Facebook page show residents touring the White House and the Washington Monument on October 20.
At the military remembrance site, she posed for the offensive picture, that was taken by a coworker, Jamie Schuh, and then Stone uploaded the snap to her own Facebook page.
But it soon went viral and Facebook users were shocked to see the pose at a place meant to honor fallen heroes.
Soon a page was started to alert the wider web of Stone’s action.
An unknown Facebook user, who is believed to be a veteran suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder, created a page on the social networking site, ‘Fire Lindsey Stone.’
The page, with the stated intent to ‘only accept termination,’ was started on Monday and has quickly garnered over 14,000 Likes by Wednesday morning.
After the massive response, Stone’s employer said in a statement on Tuesday that they were only made aware of the shocking post on November 19.
‘The photo has since been removed from Facebook, and both employees have been placed on unpaid leave pending the results of an internal investigation,’ according to a statement.
‘This photograph in no way reflects the opinions or values of the LIFE organization, which holds our nation’s veterans in the highest regard. We are proud to have veterans serving on our staff and board of trustees, and we value their service’
‘The men and women who have selflessly fought and sacrificed their lives to protect the rights and lives of Americans deserve our utmost respect and gratitude.’
‘We are acutely aware that this photo has done a disservice to veterans and we are deeply saddened that it was taken and shared in a public medium,’ the statement added.
Justified? Stone (pictured left: with her co-worker Jamie Schuh in April) said in a statement that she posed for the picture for her own amusement (pictured right: at a work holiday party in December 2011)
After the photo was widely circulated, Stone released a joint statement with Jamie Schuh, her colleague who took the photo, to apologize.
‘We sincerely apologize for all the pain we have caused by posting the picture we took in Washington DC on Facebook. While posted on a public forum, the picture was intended only for our own amusement,’ the pair said in an apology published in the Boston Herald.
‘We never meant any disrespect to any of the people nationwide who have served this country and defended our freedom so valiantly. It was meant merely as a visual pun, intending to depict the exact opposite of what the sign said, and had absolutely nothing to do with the location it was taken or the people represented there. We never meant to cause any harm or disrespect to anyone, particularly our men and women in uniform. We realize it was in incredibly poor taste, and are deeply sorry for the offense we have caused.’
‘We also sincerely apologize to LIFE, Inc. It is an amazing organization that provides invaluable services to adults with learning and developmental disabilities. We are beyond remorseful that our actions have caused them such undue public scrutiny. The disrespect implied by our picture has nothing at all to do with LIFE’s mission statement or values. We regret having caused any suffering to the staff members, residents, families and friends.’
‘Again, we very sincerely apologize to everyone who took offense to the photo. We realize that it was an ignorant and distasteful thing for us to do, but we truly meant no harm. We are deeply sorry,’ they added.
using the number/letter grid:
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9
A B C D E F G H I
J K L M N O P Q R
S T U V W X Y Z
A = 1 J = 1 S = 1
B = 2 K = 2 T = 2
C = 3 L = 3 U = 3
D = 4 M = 4 V = 4
E = 5 N = 5 W = 5
F = 6 O = 6 X = 6
G = 7 P = 7 Y = 7
H = 8 Q = 8 Z = 8
I = 9 R = 9
her primary challenge = LS = 31 = Controversy. Stirring things up. Things get out of hand.
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numerology for Friday December 21st, 2012 (the “end of the Mayan calendar”) at:
comprehensive summary and list of predictions for 2012:
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