Why You Should Never Touch the Coins Placed on Military Graves
This weekend while we are enjoying the first unofficial weekend of summer, it is important we take a moment to remember the men and women who made the ultimate sacrifice for our country. Growing up in the military I was lucky that every time my dad left home he came back and that included two tours in Vietnam.
Some of my friends weren't as fortunate as I was and they lost parents along the way who were in service to our country. Although as a family member you feel proud that your loved one gave their life in service to the United State of America there is still a sadness that they paid with their lives fighting for our country.
One thing you could do to honor the fallen.
If you have never walk through a military cemetery I would suggest you do it at some point. The West Point cemetery is filled with rich history. It is the final resting place for so many people who gave their life defending our great nation. As you walk through take note of the names of the soldiers and their families. You might also want to notice one more thing.
Something I didn't know until today, why people leave coins on graves.
As a child, I didn't know everyone who knew my father. He had many friends who he served with who I never had the honor of meeting. There are also many men and women who served with my father that knew him when he was overseas fighting for our country.
I have often gone to the West Point cemetery to visit my father's grave and found that someone has left a coin on his headstone. I knew they were paying their respects but it wasn't until I stumbled over a post from Hudson Valley Headstones & Cemetery Research that I knew what those coins meant.
In a post today they shared an article from vcnewsreview.com explaining the different meaning of the various coins. The article states that "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."
Depending on if you are military or not the coins have different meanings. They also shared the photo below.