The Meaning of Leaving a Coin

The Meaning of Leaving a Coin

While visiting some cemeteries you may notice that headstones marking certain gr...aves 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 left 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.
Vets Helping Vets

1 Comment

2 years 6 weeks ago, 7:57 PM

zx12rmike

zx12rmike's picture

Rank:
President Pro Temp
Points:
7870
Join Date:
Dec 2008
Location:
commiefornia, United States

I had never heard of this. This is awesome!!

"We cannot defend freedom abroad by deserting it at home" Thomas Jefferson
CoalTrain8321's picture
Posted by: CoalTrain8321
2 years 6 weeks ago
Views:
373
Comments:
1

Rating Overview

This text will be replaced

Recent Activity