Here’s Why Some National Cemetery Tombstones Have Coins On Them
It never ceases to amaze me of the things you learn as you move through life. I guess that's what makes life interesting and worth living. A good friend of mine, Dick McKinney shared some information with me a couple of years ago in an article he read regarding National Cemeteries.
If you ever go to one and look at the tombstone, look closely to see if there is a coin on top of it. If you come across a tombstone of a soldier with a coin on it, it means someone stopped by to pay their respect. Some tombstones have quarters, others dimes, nickels and pennies placed on them by visitors. There is a reason for this and it is something I never knew before reading Dick's article.
Leaving a penny means you visited. A nickel means that you and the deceased soldier trained at boot camp together. If you served with the soldier, you leave a dime. A quarter is very significant because it means that you were there when that soldier died.
There are 10 National Cemeteries in Illinois including one in Quincy. Iowa has two National Cemeteries including one in Keokuk and the closest of 4 National Cemeteries in Missouri is in St. Louis.