A soldier’s Coin

A coin rest on the headstone marking Patrick Boyle's grave.
A coin rests on the headstone marking Patrick Boyle’s grave.

How many of you have visited cemeteries and found coins placed on the gravestones?

This is an old tradition thought to have originated during the era of the Roman Legions and Centurions.  The practice was revived during the Vietnam Conflict.  The politics of that Asian War caused grief but  soldiers, sailors and airmen wanted to tell loved ones that somebody visited the grave.

A penny means that a soldier or veteran visited the grave of a brother that he has never met.  A nickle left on the grave means that the visitor served in basic training with the departed. A dime means that the visitor served in the same outfit.  That could be the same branch of service or perhaps the same fort or base.  A quarter means that the visitor was with the deceased when he was killed or died as a result of his or her wounds.

This stone is in the Boyle Cemetery near 9201 Wesley Street. Two of the headstones of the six present represent veterans of World War I and World War II.

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