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Coins Decorated Thousands of Military Graves – Here’s What TheyMean

Over Memorial Day weekend, thousands celebrated the holiday once known as “Decoration Day” by leaving decorations on the graves of both fallen service members and deceased veterans.

The tradition of leaving a coin on a military grave dates back to the Vietnam war – it stared as a way for visitors to send a sort of coded message to the families of the fallen.

Instead of challenge coins or stones, visitors leave what would appear to many as pocket change – but each coin has a special meaning:

 

  • penny: a friend has visited
  • nickel: the visitor trained with the deceased
  • dime: the visitor served with the deceased
  • quarter: the visitor was with the deceased when he or she died

The tradition reaches military cemeteries all over the nation.

The money that is left on the graves is eventually collected and used for funeral costs and upkeep of the grounds – but the message it sends is priceless.

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