BOSTON (CBS) – Two women have been placed on unpaid leave from their jobs after their photo at Arlington National Cemetery in Virginia angered thousands of people on Facebook.
Lindsey Stone was visiting the Tomb of the Unknowns last month on a business trip when she posed for a picture next to a sign that reads “silence and respect.”
In the photo, Stone is pretending to yell and she’s showing her middle finger.
The photo, taken by co-worker Jamie Schuh, went viral and sparked anger among veterans.
“I can understand why veterans would be all upset over this,” says Edward LeBlanc who was in the Air Force for 20 years and served two tours in Vietnam. “It’s disrespectful, she’s telling us to go “F” ourselves and I don’t think that’s real bright and good for anybody.”
Some angry comments were posted on the Facebook page of their employer, Living Independently Forever, Inc.,(LIFE) a non-profit organization in Hyannis that helps adults with disabilities on Cape Cod.
The uproar forced the organization to post this statement Tuesday afternoon:
“On Nov. 19 at approximately 6 p.m., we became aware that one of our employees had posted an offensive, inappropriate photograph on her personal Facebook page. The photo was taken at a national historic site in October by a fellow employee during a trip to Washington, D.C. attended by 40 residents and eight staff. The photo has since been removed from Facebook, and both employees have been placed on unpaid leave pending the results of an internal investigation.
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.”