Lindsey Stone, the woman in the photo above, was visiting the Tomb of the Unknowns last month at Arlington National Cemetery when she posed for a photo next to a sign that reads "Silence and Respect."
The photo shows Stone is pretending to yell at the sign and flipping her middle finger. The shot was taken by her co-worker Jamie Schuh.
After one of the women posted the photo on Facebook, it immediately went viral and sparked angry comments from posters to the company's Facebook page.
Their employer, Living Independently Forever, Inc.,(LIFE) is a non-profit organization that helps adults with disabilities.
We have edited the photo (above) to blur out Stone's gesture. To view the original, unedited version of the photo that was posted to Faceboook, click here>>>
"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.
The Tomb of the Unknowns is a national monument dedicated to American service members who died without their remains being identified.
The two women released a written apology, posted on the Boston Herald website:
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. 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 distateful thing for us to do, but we truly meant no harm. We are deeply sorry.