On Memorial Day, hundreds of Idahoans visit the Idaho Veterans Cemetery to pay their respects to the brave men and women who've served our country.

The Idaho State Veterans Cemetery ceremony will take place on the lower level of the cemetery at 10 a.m. on Monday, May 27.

If you go to the ceremony or visit later in the day and decide to look more closely at the gravesites, you may notice a handful of coins sitting on top of them. Why are they there? What do they mean?

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A few years ago, a member of a local car club explained it to us during a visit to the cemetery. Leaving coins on a gravestone is a tradition that's gone on for many years. Each denomination of coin visitors place represents a different message for the fallen soldier's family, which is why you should leave them there.

What Does Each Coin Represent?

Photo by Adam on Unsplash
Photo by Adam on Unsplash
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Penny

A penny means that you visited to pay respect.

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Nickel

A nickel means you were part of boot camp at the same time as the fallen soldier.

Photo by Shot by Cerqueira on Unsplash
Photo by Shot by Cerqueira on Unsplash
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Dime

A dime means you served with the fallen soldier at some time during their time in the service.

Photo by Chris Briggs on Unsplash
Photo by Chris Briggs on Unsplash
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Quarter

A quarter means you were present when the soldier was killed.

Michelle Heart, Townsquare Media
Michelle Heart, Townsquare Media
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What Happens to the Coins Left on Military Graves?

If they're left in a national or state veterans cemeteries, they're usually collected and put toward either the burial costs for needy veterans or upkeep of the facility.

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Another Special Memorial Day Event

The Warhawk Museum in Nampa is coordinating a flyover of five vintage WWII-era fighter planes on Memorial Day. It's scheduled to soar over a handful of area cemeteries and hospitals on Memorial Day, May 27. Here's a sneak peak at the route:

  • 10:59 a.m. - Saint Alphonsus Nampa (South Side)
  • 11:00 a.m. - Kohlerlawn Cemetery
  • 11:03 a.m. - St. Luke's Meridian (West Side)
  • 11:03 a.m.  Kleiner Park
  • 11:04 a.m. - Saint Alphonsus Eagle (South Side)
  • 11:11 a.m. - Veterans Cemetery
  • 11:13: a.m. - Morris Hill
  • 11:14 a.m. - St. Luke's Boise and Boise VA (South Side
  • 11:15 a.m. - Veterans Memorial Park
  • 11:16 a.m. - Cloverdale Cemetery
  • 11:17 a.m. - Meridian Cemetery
  • 11:18 a.m. - Scheels

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