COINS LEFT ON VETERAN’S HEADSTONES

COINS LEFT ON VETERANS’ HEADSTONES ~

Arlington Cemetery

“While visiting some cemeteries you may notice that headstones marking certain graves have coins on them, left by previous visitors to the grave. These coins have distinct meanings when left on the headstones of those who gave their life while serving in America’s military, & these meanings vary depending on the denomination of coin.

A coin left on a headstone or at the grave site is meant as a message to the deceased soldier’s family that someone else has visited the grave to pay respect. Leaving a penny at the grave means simply that you visited.

A nickel indicates that you & the deceased trained at boot camp together,while a dime means you served with him in some capacity. By leaving a quarter at the grave, you are telling the family that you were with the solider when he was killed. According to tradition, the money le ft at graves in national cemeteries & state veterans cemeteries is eventually collected, & the funds are put toward maintaining the cemetery or paying burial costs for indigent veterans.

In the U.S., this practice became common during the Vietnam war, due to the political divide in the country over the war; leaving a coin was seen as a more practical way to communicate that you had visited the grave than contacting the soldier’s family, which could devolve into an uncomfortable argument over politics relating to the war. Some Vietnam veterans would leave coins as a “down payment” to buy their fallen comrades a beer or play a hand of cards when they would finally be reunited.

The tradition of leaving coins on the headstones of military men & women can be traced to as far back as the Roman Empire. ”

A simple sentiment of honor and thanks to fallen heroes.  Let us never forget the price paid to have the freedoms we enjoy everyday.

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4 thoughts on “COINS LEFT ON VETERAN’S HEADSTONES

  1. I WILL Forward this Info to my Veterans Database and I ask everyone to Forward to their Database and then they can
    Forward, etc., etc. The work will be Passed to thousands IF we ALL do our park to HONOR our Fallen Vietnam VETS
    and their Families. GOD Bless America and WELCOME HOME to VN VETS. Sgt Bill Kiefer USMC 65-69 VN 68-69
    Also let’s HELP the Homeless Veterans as a priority. If you know of a homeless Veteran call 314/395-2788.

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