Memorial Day is coming up quickly and that means some will take the time to visit a veterans cemetery to pay tribute to our fallen soldiers. Well, it's not uncommon to see many of those veterans' tombstones lined with coins.

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Those coins have a very special meaning, so don't view them as free to collect. Heck, if you see others attempting to take the coins, please alert cemetery staff immediately.

But, what's the meaning of coins on headstones at the veterans' cemetery?

Simply put, those coins are messages to the loved ones of the fallen soldiers. It shows that someone stopped by that grave to pay their respect.

However, the kind of coin also tells a story.

  • Leaving a penny on a veteran's headstone means you visited their grave.
  • When a nickel is left on the headstone, that means the person leaving the nickel trained with the deceased soldier.
  • If you see a dime on a veteran's headstone, that means they served together in some form or fashion.
  • Finally, when a quarter is left on a veteran's headstone, that signifies the person who left it was there when the veteran died.
President Bush Attends Memorial Day Ceremony At Arlington
Photo by Brendan Smialowski/Getty Images

What happens to the coins left on the graves of veterans?

Typically, the cemetery will collect the coins every so often and will use the money for "cemetery maintenance, the cost of burial for soldiers, or the care for indigent soldiers"

While coins on graves aren't necessarily just a military tradition, you primarily see them at veterans' cemeteries.

Also, along with coins, you may see rocks on the headstones of a veteran. Well, those rocks mean the same thing as the coins. They show someone stopped by to pay their respect to the fallen hero.

Headstone at Section 60 in Arlington National Cemetery
Getty Images/iStockphoto

Regardless of the kind of coins you see on veterans' graves, please leave them alone as they are quite significant to the deceased's family as well as other veterans who understand the reverence behind the tradition.

Speaking of veterans, The Ride for Change is raising funds for the local chapter of DAV (Disabled American Veterans) and Hunters for Heroes West Texas. So please consider making a donation now to help them out.

I'd like to thank our partners for their desire to help our local veterans: Abilene Indoor Gun RangeKent's Harley-DavidsonFilo LiquorsClifton FarmsDuvall's Structures of AbileneApricot Lane BoutiqueDelagarza AutomotiveDebbie Frakes with Fathom RealtyBig Country CoffeeXquisite Blendz Barber ShopColes Groundworks, and Veterans Solar Panel Cleaning Solutions.

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