Updated: Wednesday, 21 Nov 2012, 9:09 AM EST
Published : Wednesday, 21 Nov 2012, 9:08 AM EST
ARLINGTON, Va. (WAVY) - A personal photo posted on Facebook has drawn outrage across the country, calling for the subject’s firing.
The picture, posted in October, shows Lindsey Stone raising her middle finger and acting as though she’s shouting, as she stands in front of a sign at Arlington National Cemetery calling for silence and respect. The picture quickly went viral, with people so outraged at the lack of respect Stone showed those who made the ultimate sacrifice they demanded she be fired from her job at a non-profit organization.
Shortly after the picture went viral, a Facebook page, Fire Lindsey Stone , was created and at the time of this posting, has nearly 14,000 likes. The creator of the page regularly posts pictures of fallen service members and keeps fans updated with information on the crusade against Stone.
Not everyone is against Stone, however. Another Facebook page, Save Lindsey Stone , was created shortly thereafter and at the time of this posting has 36 likes. One defender claimed Stone was just exercising her First Amendment rights, but others quickly fired back.
“The First Amendment prohibits the government from limiting the free speech of individuals,” one poster said. “It says nothing about public condemnation or actions by private companies in firing someone.”
The First Amendment is as follows:
Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof, or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.
Stone and the photographer, identified by WAVY affiliate WHDN in Boston as Jamie Schuh, are currently on unpaid leave from LIFE, a non-profit organization supporting independent living for adults with disabilities within its condo community.
LIFE offered the following statement on its Facebook page:
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.
Tuesday, Stone issued the following statement:
We sincerely apologize for all the pain we have caused by posting the picture in Washington, DC on Facebook. We never meant to disrespect any of the people nationwide who have served this country and defended our freedom so valiantly.
Thousands say her apology just isn’t enough and the damage has already been done. Share your thoughts on this story in the comment section below or post your comments on the WAVY TV 10 Facebook page.
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