Today is the day that we reflect on Memorial Day. Many people confuse Memorial Day and Veterans day so here is a little history. Memorial Day was once known as Decoration day that was established in 1871. This is a day that people decorated the grave site of fallen soldiers as a way of remembrance for their service. They would use Spring flowers and mark every grave of a fallen soldier.
Today, the flowers have now been replaced by American flags at the grave sites of soldiers. I have had the honor to visit National Cemeteries both here in the United States and in the region of Normandy, France. To visit these areas is surreal. Not knowing anything about these people that you are paying your respect to, know they sacrificed their life for our freedom.
Visiting National Cemeteries, you may notice coins that are placed upon a headstone. This is a sign of respect with laying a coin on a headstone. Doing this action allows for the family to know someone visited their loved one.
The symbolism of the coins:
A Penny: This is a way of saying you visited the grave and paid your respect to the fallen soldier.
A Nickel: The visitor served with the soldier at boot camp.
A Dime: The visitor served with the fallen soldier during sometime in their career beyond boot camp.
A Quarter: this means the visitor was with the soldier when the solder fell.
This small gesture allows the family to know that the soldier is not forgotten.
The change is removed by the cemetery staff on a routine basis and placed into a fund. The monies are used for the cost of burial for indigent soldiers.
Please take a moment out of your day today and reflect on the soldiers who have fallen for our freedom.
Reminder: Veterans Day is November 11. Take the time out to say Thank You to a vet who is still with us. Buy them a cup of coffee, shake their hand, and remember to ask before you hug them.