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Published May 29, 2017

Ever Seen Coins On A Gravestone? This Is What That Means

While visiting some cemeteries you may notice that headstones marking certain graves have coins on them, left by previous visitors to the grave. You might be surprised to find out their meaning.

A coin left on a headstone lets the deceased soldier’s family know that somebody stopped by to pay their respects.

If you leave a penny, it means you visited. A nickel means that you and the deceased soldier trained at boot camp together. If you served with the soldier, you leave a dime. A quarter is very significant because it means that you were there when that soldier was killed.

The origin of the tradition, like the meaning behind it, is still up for debate. But many people believe it started in America during the Vietnam war.

America was having a crisis of conscience. Any discussion of the war usually devolved into a greater discussion about politics. Leaving a coin was a way to say you appreciate the soldier’s service while avoiding an inevitable uncomfortable conversation.

It’s also thought that the act stemmed from the Ancient Greek/Roman tradition of leaving coins on the eyes or mouth of the deceased to help pay for passage into the afterlife.

RELATED: A Visit To The Vietnam Memorial: What’s In A Name?

This Memorial Day, remember to give thanks and appreciate all of the fallen heroes who have served and given up their lives for our freedom.

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  • Joker is a code hack here at Candid Slice. A programmer by day and a reader and writer by night, he is loathe to discuss himself in the 3rd person, but can be persuaded to do so from time to time. Find him on any of the Candid Slice social media channels. All my articles.

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