Woman Flipping Off Unknown Soldier Tomb Goes Viral, May Get Her Fired
Some people just don't get it about the dangers of social media.
When Cape Cod-based nonprofit worker Lindsey Stone visited Arlington National Cemetery last month, she thought it would be funny to snap a picture of herself pretending to shout and flip off the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier -- next to a sign that read: "Silence and Respect."
It didn't turn out so funny when she posted it on her Facebook page.
First the photo went viral, then another Facebook page called "Fire Lindsey Stone" popped up, racking up more than 5,500 likes in just a day.
Her haters may get their wish. LIFE, the Cape Cod-based nonprofit where she works helping adults with learning disabilities, on Monday suspended her on unpaid leave "pending the results of an internal investigation."
But the online criticism continued.
"We are through with any and all disrespect of our dead. We can take it, we fought for your right to dish it," the creator of "Fire Lindsay Stone," who appears to be a PTSD-afflicted veteran, wrote in a post. "But we'll be damned if you dishonor men and women better than yourselves who paid the ultimate sacrifice for our Nation and are no longer here to defend themselves."
Said another poster: "Free speech doesn't mean free of consequence. Our fore-fathers wanted free speech to be productive, not for abuse by the ignorant and selfish. Maybe this will be a wake up to the other "lookatmes!" that didn't get enough attention from mommy and daddy and think their life is a reality tv show. Thank you to all who were outraged and forced a result. Job well done."
Stone deleted the photo, along with most of her page's posts save for a few friend requests, and apologized.
"Whoa whoa whoa ... wait," Stone wrote. "This is just us, being the douchebags that we are, challenging authority in general. Much like the pic posted the night before, of me smoking right next to a no smoking sign. OBVIOUSLY we meant NO disrespect to people that serve or have served our country."
But that may not be enough.
"This photograph in no way reflects the opinions or values of the LIFE organization, which holds our nation's veterans in the highest regard," the organization said in a statement. "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 deserves our utmost respect and gratitude."
Whether Stone keeps her job remains to be seen, but the Facebook protesters say in the tagline of their page they will "only accept termination."