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What Do The Coins Left On Military Headstones Mean?

This is a continuation of a post I published last week. Is this tradition truth or is it a myth?

Drew Angerer/Getty Images

 

 

 

 

 

It’s interesting, that people feel the need to rain on the parade of people who want to show support for the military, and on my previous Facebook post, a few people posted that they thought the tradition was fake because they read it on snopes.com.  But so many people have responded to these few naysayers.

People have posted, and continue to post on my fan page, that they have observed this tradition of leaving coins on military graves for decades, even though snopes claims this didn’t exist in the U.S. until 2009.  I have no idea why some people feel the need to piss all over someones else’s post about an amazing tradition that according to first person reports has been around much longer than what snopes is reporting.  Maybe it’s time for snopes to do a report and call themselves out for being untrue.

My original post is below:

Have you ever been in a cemetery and saw coins laying on a tombstone? There is actually a reason behind it.  Read more, so you can know what each coin means, and maybe as you visit a fallen soldier this Memorial Day, you can leave a coin to honor them too.

COINS LEFT ON TOMBSTONES – snopes.com

According to snopes.com these meanings vary depending on the denomination of coin:

A coin left on a headstone let’s the deceased soldier’s family know that somebody stopped by to pay their respect. Leaving a penny 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.

So what happens to the coins after Memorial Day? It is collected and the money is used for cemetery maintenance, the cost of burial for soldiers, or the care for indigent soldiers.

Supposedly the tradition became popular here in the United States during the Vietnam war. It is believed it was a way to show respect without getting into an uncomfortable political discussion about a war that was very controversial.

In general, however, this tradition can be traced to as far back as the Roman Empire. It was a way to give a buddy some spending money for the hereafter.

 

From everyone here at Mix 106, Thank you to all the military and their families who have sacrificed so much so that we are able to enjoy our freedom….Happy Memorial Day!

 

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