If You See Coins on Idaho Gravestones, This is Why You Should Leave Them There
After pausing Memorial Day events for the COVID-19 pandemic, the Idaho State Veterans Cemetery is proud to welcome the public to an official ceremony honoring the brave men and women who've served our country.
Their Memorial Day Ceremony is scheduled for Monday, May 30 at 10 a.m. Attendees will see a wreath presentation, a flyover from the 124th Fighter Wing and several speakers. Speakers include representatives from Governor Little's office, elected officials and Dan Nelson, a combat veteran who will give the keynote address.
Parking is limited, so attendees are asked to park at Optimist Park (9889 W Hill Road Parkway) and take one of the shuttles provided by Brown Bus Company and Valley Regional Transit.
If you choose to stick around after the ceremony and 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?
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 placed by visitors represents a different message for the fallen soldier's family and that's why you should leave them there.
What Does Each Coin Represent?
A penny means that you visited to pay respect.
A nickel means you were part of boot camp at the same time as the fallen soldier.
A dime means you served with the fallen soldier at some time during their time in the service.
A quarter means you were present when the soldier was killed.
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.
Another Special Memorial Day Event
The ceremony at the Veterans Cemetery is only scheduled to last an hour. If you hang out for 11 more minutes, you may see a second flyover. The Warhawk Museum in Nampa is coordinating a flyover of three vintage WWII-era fighter planes on Memorial Day. It's scheduled to soar over this cemetery at 11:11 a.m. You can read more and see the route HERE.