Dear Lindsay –
My guess is that you are having a pretty crappy week, and rightly so, you did something pretty fucking stupid.
As you know the Tomb of the Unknowns in the Arlington National Cemetery, is one of the most sacred places in the USA, where respect, honor, reverence, and dignity is implied and most people get unless you have just crawled out from under a rock.
So I have to ask what the hell were you thinking when your colleague and friend decided to stage a little photo shoot?
My guess is that you weren’t thinking, or simply didn’t care. My guess is that you did know before setting foot on such hallowed ground that this was a place of quiet, respect and reverence. Much like any cemetery you would enter.
However, you made a choice to dishonor and disrespect those who have lost their lives in one of the most sacred places on the planet.
And your poor dad I read that he’s appalled and made the statement that “It’s not what this family is all about”
So now you have lost your job as well as your friend and co-worker who took the photo.
I understand that your intentions may have been to make some sort of off color joke to your friends because you thought it was “funny” and yeah you have the right to behave anyway you like even if it means to be rude, terrible, and disrespectful.
However, let me try and explain to you why you are in the position you are in. Do you even really know what the Tomb of the Unknowns is? Well, The Tomb of the Unknowns is a monument dedicated to American service members who have died without their remains being identified. It is also known as the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier; it has never been officially named. It is located in Arlington National Cemetery in Virginia, United States of America. The World War I “Unknown” is a recipient of the Medal of Honor, the Victoria Cross, and several other foreign nations’ highest service awards. The U.S. Unknowns who were interred are also recipients of the Medal of Honor, presented by the U.S. presidents who presided over their funerals.
While you might think what you did was not a big deal I can rest assure you it was not only offensive and rude it was incredibly respectful. Someone’s son or daughter, husband or wife, mother or father, sister or brother is in that Tomb. And as we as a nation don’t defend something like the sanctity of the Tomb of the Unknowns, then we as the people of the United States of America don’t deserve the freedom provided by those men and women who are interred within the Tomb and by those the Tomb honors.
What I don’t understand is that you worked for a company that prided itself in caring for one another. You worked with special needs people. I am sure you talked and taught self respect, acceptance, appropriate behavior, and how to love and care for one another. Why is it that you cannot walk into a place like the Arlington National Cemetery and for a few short minutes and behave like an adult. And really if you can’t, then don’t even go to the Tomb, it’s that simple.
Now I get the fact that we as a country have become overly sensitive to just about everything, behaviors, language, opinions and thoughts. Many thing we are politically incorrect than we are politically correct. However, there are boundaries we have to follow in our society, and there are lines that shouldn’t ever be crossed. And disrespecting the Tomb of the Unknowns is one of those lines.
I hope during this Thanksgiving season you take a moment and give thanks that you have a family who loves you and supports you despite your lack of good judgment and that you live in a country where your job is the only thing you lose. You aren’t going to jail. You aren’t losing your life just your job.
My hope you’ve learned a big lesson.
My best –