Coins on a Tombstone


While visiting some cemeteries you may notice that headstones marking certain graves have coins on them, these were left by previous visitors.

These coins have a distinct meaning when left on the headstones of those who gave their life while serving in America’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 someone had come to visit the grave to pay respect.

* Leaving a penny at the grave, means simply that you visited.
* Leaving a nickel indicates that you and the deceased trained at boot camp.
* A dime means you served with him in some capacity.
* By leaving a quarter at the grave, you are telling the family 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 collected, and the funds are put toward maintaining the cemetery or helping with paying burial costs for indigent Veterans.

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 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 “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 and women can be traced to as far back as the Roman Empire.

A Sincere thanks to the Veteran who sent me this message.


Never Forgotten – Forever Revered