If you have ever visited a military cemetery on Memorial Day then you must have seen coins laying on certain tombstones. Every Memorial Day, many war veterans and active duty servicemen and women pay a visit to cemeteries to give respect to their fellow servicemen and women.
If you see coins lying on the military tombstones, don’t touch them as there is a special reason why they are there.
To pay respect to the fallen soldiers, coins are left on their tombstones. The service’s family member might have left those coins and it is a sign of respect which they paid for the deceased.
There is a different meaning behind every coin and the number of coins shows the connection of a deceased person with their family.
If there is a penny, it simply means someone visited the grave to pay their respects. The meaning of Nickels is that the coin is left by a person who is trained or was at boot camp with the deceased service member.
Dimes show that the person who left it was there when the deceased was killed.
Dave Taylor, a Vietnam War veteran said: “It’s a story about life, about sacrifice, and about remembrance.”
During the Vietnam war in U.S., this practice became common. According to Snopes.com, ‘’The tradition of leaving coins on the headstones of military men and women can be traced to as far back as the Roman Empire.’’
‘’Mythologies within certain cultures added specific purpose for coins being left with the dead. In Greek mythology, Charon, the ferryman of Hades, required payment for his services. A coin was therefore placed in the mouth of the dear departed to ensure he would ferry the deceased across the rivers Styx and Acheron and into the world of the dead rather than leave him to wander the shore for a hundred years.
“In England and the U.S., pennies were routinely placed on the closed eyes of the dead, yet the purpose for that practice was not clear — some say it was to keep the eyes of the corpse from flying open (even though the eyes, once shut by the person laying out the body, do not reopen).’’