(WYTV) — Ever visit and cemetery and notice that someone has left a coin on a gravestone? Maybe a gravestone has several coins on it — they mean something.
Benjamin Franklin’s gravesite is in Philadelphia where he’s buried next to his wife, Deborah. Pennies lie scattered on it.
A local tradition claims leaving a penny here brings good luck, and it was Franklin who wrote a “penny saved is a penny earned.”
But another reason for leaving coins on graves, pennies and higher, is as an act of remembrance meant to honor men and women who served this country through military service.
The tradition became popular in the United States during the Vietnam War, and different coins hold different meanings.
A penny on a gravestone means a visitor just stopped by, leaving something to say thank you for your service; a simple act of gratitude and anyone can leave a penny.
A nickel on the gravestone means that the visitor who left it went through basic training, or as the Marines call theirs, boot camp, with the person buried.
If you spot a dime on the gravestone, that signifies that the visitor served with the deceased military member.
And finally, a quarter — it goes no higher than that — is special: it means the visitor was present and accounted for when the soldier or sailor or airman died.