Tradition of leaving a coin on a gravestone.

Discussion in 'As You Were' started by WeldrDave, Jun 1, 2021.

  1. WeldrDave

    WeldrDave Military Outpost Moderator

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    Forgive me all for forgetting this, :headbang: I got side tracked and forgot to post Memorial day!
    I'm Sorry. :( Enjoy the read.

    The meaning behind the tradition of leaving coins on gravestones? These coins have distinct meanings when left on the headstones of those who gave their life while serving in the U.S. Military, and 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.

    According to tradition, the money left at graves in national cemeteries and state Veterans cemeteries is eventually collected, and the funds are put toward maintaining the cemetery or paying burial costs for indigent Veterans.

    Leaving a penny at the grave means simply that you visited.

    A nickel indicates that you and 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 soldier when he was killed.

    According to tradition, the money left at graves in national cemeteries and state veterans cemeteries is eventually collected, and the funds are put toward maintaining the cemetery or paying burial costs for indigent veterans. wimotercyclememorial.com

    In the US, 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.

    ON BEHALF OF A GRATEFUL NATION | Since its inception, the United States Air Force has championed the value of service before self, charging Airmen to place professional duty above personal desires. While adherence to this call is expected of Airmen every day, on Memorial Day we are given the opportunity to commemorate the loss of those who have embodied this core value by giving their lives for their country.

    “Each Memorial Day, we honor the sacrifices, courage, and valor of those service members who have given the last full measure of devotion and service to our great nation. On this most solemn of days, we turn our hearts to our fallen heroes and honor their bravery. As we march onward, with aspirations of greatness, let us never forget on whose shoulders we stand…These fallen patriots who have paid the ultimate sacrifice.” – General Charles Q. Brown, Jr., Chief of Staff of the Air Force.

    Every day, these men and women, true American patriots, continue to inspire future generations to raise their right hand and serve their country. Today, we honor these fallen warriors with the remembrance anthem, “Goin’ Home”. To those who have given the last full measure of devotion in service to their country, we thank you. The National Cemetery Administration honors Veterans and their families with final resting places in national shrines and with lasting tributes
     
  2. MikeInMa

    MikeInMa

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    Indeed

    My FIL is interned at the National cemetary, On Cape Cod.

    He was a waist gunner on a B17, flying missions from Britain to locations over the channel. His plane was the Fuddy Duddy.

    When we stop by his grave, we see coins on the grave markers. We looked up the meaning a number of years ago.

    Graves in Bourne Ma, are marked with simple flat stones. Other than Memorial Day Weekend, all you can see from the roads is green grass. On Memorial Day weekend, a flag is placed at each flat stone. Only then do you get an understanding of just how many markers there are. A moving sight.

    Thanks for posting, Dave.
     
  3. Lennyzx11

    Lennyzx11

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    There is an unsubstantiated theory that this practice came originally from Greek mythology.

    Charon the ferryman required payment in coin to transport departed from the land of the living across the river Styx to the land of the dead in Hades.
    Those that didn’t or couldn’t pay were doomed to wander the land of the living as ghosts for 100 years.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
     
  4. WeldrDave

    WeldrDave Military Outpost Moderator

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    I also heard the Viking one as well, having coins to pay the Gods.
     
  5. Chvymn99

    Chvymn99 Moderator

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    Interesting, never heard that. Thanks for sharing.
     
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  6. buZZsaw BRAD

    buZZsaw BRAD

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    I have left coins on my fathers headstone. He served in WW2. He is buried in a "regular" cemetary with upright headstones. He was buried with military honors.
     
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