Letter: Coins on military monuments a valued tradition

A ceremony is held at Monument Park in Williams. (Loretta Yerian/WGCN)

A ceremony is held at Monument Park in Williams. (Loretta Yerian/WGCN)

Last Saturday we were at the Veteran Statue in Monument Park for a memorial for a WWII veteran. After the service I observed that the coins that had been left on the service men and women plaques had been removed. I am assuming that these coins were removed by children or possibly homeless people.

I feel that some education is needed to possibly prevent this action from happening again.

For those of you who do not know when visiting a memorial or grave site of a veteran, coins may be on the top of a headstone or in the case of our memorial here in Williams, on the tops of the plaques of our 14 hometown heroes that were killed in action. A coin left is a message to the deceased veteran's family that someone has visited their loved one's spot and paid their respects. Each type of coin left has it's own meaning. A penny means that the site was visted. A nickel means the person visiting trained at boot camp with the deceased veteran. A dime means the person served with them in some capacity. A quarter left means that the person who left it was with the veteran when he was killed.

The practice is believed to have started in the United States during the Vietnam War as a way to pay their respects to fallen servicemen.

So I'm asking those who removed the coins please do not and for those that have children, please educate them about this practice. Thanks to all who do visit and respect our veterans.


Carol Lee McElwain,

Auxiliary President

Matthew James Broehm Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 12128


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