While visiting some cemeteries you may notice that headstones marking certain graves have coins on them, left by previous visitors to the grave.
These coins have distinct meanings when left on the headstones of those who gave their life while serving in America’s military, and these meanings vary depending on the denomination of coin.
A coin left on a headstone or at the grave site is meant as a message to the deceased soldier’s family that someone else has visited the grave to pay respect. 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 solider when he was 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.
In the US, this practice became common during the Vietnam war, due to the political divide in the country over the war; leaving a coin was seen as a more practical way to communicate that you had visited the grave than contacting the soldier’s family, which could devolve into an uncomfortable argument over politics relating to the war.
Some Vietnam veterans would leave coins as a “down payment” to buy their fallen comrades a beer or play a hand of cards when they would finally be reunited.
The tradition of leaving coins on the headstones of military men and women can be traced to as far back as the Roman Empire.
Anniversary of the US Navy missile attack to an Iranian Passenger Airplane on3 July 1988, killing 290 Civilians, including 66 children
Iran Air Flight 655 was on a routine flight from Iran’s southwestern city of Bandar Abbas to Dubai when it was shot down by the United States Navy’s missile cruiser USS Vincennes on July 3, 1988, killing all 290 passengers onboard, including 66 children, and crewmembers.
A U.S. warship in the Persian Gulf targeted a civilian jetliner with all of its approximately 300 passengers including 60 children aboard, blew it out and sunk it while all perished. After controversy and protest sparked and the world became aware of Iran’s blamelessness in this incident, they made a minor apology and said we made a mistake, “we mistook the jetliner” and “we regret it”. Wow! You regret it? Contrary to what should commonly be observed among the world powers-who do not really care for humanity and basic morals-you shot down a civilian jetliner-which should be respected and no one has the right to attack, with about 300 passengers abroad and then you say you regret it?!You made a mistake?! You did a damn thing to make a mistake! What does that mean?! If the commander of the warship made a mistake, why did you not bring him to trial?! Why did you give him a medal of honor? Why did you continued your enmity to the Iranian nation with your different words? What mistake?! How come you never make mistakes in wrongdoing against the independent nations? This is the World arrogance today! This is the US today and they don’t mind committing crimes. 4 July 1991