If you find a coin on a loved one’s gravestone, you had better know what it means

When it comes to remembering and honoring our departed loved ones, we all follow different traditions.

Respecting other people’s traditions and remembering the lives of the deceased should be commonplace in today’s society. It doesn’t make some people any less genuine to choose to adhere to customs or practices that the rest of us are not familiar with.

The same is true of gravestones and the decorations some families decide to erect over the final resting places of their loved ones. One common ritual that you have undoubtedly seen at some time is the placing of coins on headstones. But why is this even an issue? And where did it come from? To find out more, keep reading.

In cemeteries around the United States and other nations, coins are customarily placed on gravestones. I first noticed it when I was a small child, at my grandfather’s grave, and even then I began to wonder what it was all about.

Luckily, it doesn’t take much work to locate the beginnings online. In recent years, several sources have refuted the assumption that the practice originated with Roman military men, despite the earlier belief to the contrary.

However, there is a military significance to placing pennies on tombstones. One of the sections on the American Legion website mentions a connection to the Vietnam War.

Because of the political rift in the nation over the war, leaving a penny at the soldier’s tomb was thought to be a more practical approach to let them know you had visited. Contacting the soldier’s family could lead to an awkward confrontation over war-related politics.

Veterans place pennies on gravestones to remember their buddies who have died; sometimes, they do it to buy a beer for them. There are various motivations for this practice. Reports state that each coin has a distinct meaning.

A penny, for example, only signifies that someone was there; a nickel, on the other hand, is left by someone who served in boot camp with the deceased.

Conversely, a dime is worth a total of one and a half years of military service. Quarters are the next, letting the family know that whoever left the coin at the time of the loved one’s death was present.

 

Have you ever seen a penny left on a tombstone? Did you know what it meant? Leave a comment below to let us know.

Rate article