If You See Coins Laying on Military Graves, DON’T Touch Them – Instead, Do This… [VIDEO]

If You See Coins Laying on Military Graves, DON’T Touch Them – Instead, Do This… [VIDEO]

This weekend was Memorial Day weekend and for the military community specifically, it’s not just a time for cookouts and going to the beach. For veterans, it’s a time to remember their brothers who didn’t come home and to visit them at their final resting place. And many of these veterans have found a unique way to send special messages to the families of the fallen.

At veterans cemeteries, you may see coins left on tombstones… and they are there to send a specific message. It is meant to let the fallen service member’s family know that a fellow veteran has been there to pay their respects.

The coins are left to symbolize the relationship between the fallen and the veteran who visited. And each coin has a specific meaning. A penny is simply to show that someone stopped by the grave to visit and pay respects to the fallen. A nickel indicates that the visitor trained with the fallen, at boot camp or basic training. Dimes let the family members know that the visitor served with the deceased and a quarter tells the family that the visitor was there when the fallen took their last breaths — that they were with them when they died.

Allegedly, this tradition began during the Vietnam War. Anti-war sentiment was at an all-time high, as was anti-military hatred. A covert way of showing respect was needed and it also allowed veterans to reach out to the families of the deceased without having to personally contact them.

What happens to the change after it has been collected? It is believed that the money is collected and used either for the upkeep of the cemetery itself, or to help fund the burial costs of veterans.

For Dave Taylor, a Vietnam veteran, it is an honor to put on his uniform and pay his respects each year. He visits each grave, leaving coins and saluting as he goes, explaining, “It’s a story about life, about sacrifice, and about remembrance.”

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