Why Are There Coins Left On Soldiers Graves In New York State?
While visiting some cemeteries in New York you may notice that headstones of soldiers have coins on them. Do specific coins have specific meanings?
According to Snopes, each coin has a specific purpose. Here's a breakdown of each purpose so you know what to leave:
Placing a coin on headstones of a service member or veteran is a show of respect and honor, as well as letting the deceased service member’s family know someone was there, but the denomination of the coins each has a distinct and significant meaning.
According to an article by the Department of Military Affairs, the custom of leaving coins with the deceased can be traced back to the Roman Empire.
What Does Each Coin Mean?
Each coin has a different meaning. Wounded Warrior points them all out online.
1) A penny at the grave means simply that you visited. A nickel indicates that you and the deceased trained at boot camp together.
2) A nickel signifies that the visitor served with the deceased service member at boot camp.
3) A dime means you served with the solider in some capacity.
4) A quarter, the biggest coin, has the biggest meaning. This means when at the grave, you are telling the family that you were with the soldier when they were 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.
Now that you know, you'll know what coins to bring to pay your respects.
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