If you have ever been to a cemetery, you would have noticed coins placed on some graves. Have you ever wondered what it was or why it was placed there? They are not some random coins that are placed there for no reason. There is definitely a reason behind it and it is a reason every patriot must know. Placing a coin on a grave has a very specific meaning attached to it and once you know it, you will never see the gesture of placing a coin on a grave the same way again.
The tradition is for visitors to leave coins on the tombstones of the graves of the soldiers who served in America’s military. This is a way of paying respect and also letting the soldier’s family know that someone else also visited the grave.
The exact meaning of the gesture depends on the denomination of the coin. Leaving a penny is just a way of letting the family know that someone visited and paid respect at the grave. Leaving a nickel says that the visitor and the soldier belonged to the same boot camp and trained together. If the visitor leaves a dime, then it means that the soldier and visitor served together in some capacity. A quarter left at the grave means that the visitor was present when the soldier was killed.
The coins left at the grave do more than just being a symbol of respect. According to the tradition, the coins left at the state veteran cemeteries and national cemeteries are collected, and the raised funds are used to pay for the burials of indigent veterans and maintain the cemeteries.
This tradition of placing coins on the graves of soldiers started during the Vietnam War. It was seen to be a more practical way of communicating with the soldier’s family than paying them a visit to show respect for the soldier’s sacrifice. This was to avoid any uncomfortable arguments over politics related to war as there was a political divide in the country over America’s involvement in the Vietnam War. The tradition has continued since.
So, if you see a coin placed on a grave next time, know that it is the grave of a soldier who laid down his life to protect your freedom and liberties.
H/T: Q Political
Photo Credit: Q Political