Yorktown National Cemetery

 

The next stop on the driving tour was a solemn one.

 

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Where I found it a sad statement on today’s society that this sign even needed to be posted.

 

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Silence and respect is the very least we can give them.

 

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I’ve always found cemeteries to be beautiful places.

 

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And never fail to become emotional…. constantly close to tears.

 

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It doesn’t matter that none of my people were here…..

 

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They’re someone’s people.

 

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Someone’s son, husband or father.

 

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And they made the ultimate sacrifice for a country we all share.

 

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Cemeteries are a perfect place for personal reflection.

 

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And I made sure to give my veteran husband some time alone with memories of his war… and those he lost.

 

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I have to admit I was ignorant of the tradition of coin laying. You don’t see this up our way, but almost every grave had coins on it in Yorktown.

 

According to legend, the coin left belongs on the gravestones of U.S. military veterans. Visitors who wish to show their respect leave coins on the headstones in different amounts. It shows their loved ones of the soldiers family that someone has come to visit the grave.

Leaving a penny means you visited and want to thank the veteran for their service. A nickel means you trained at boot camp with the deceased, while a dime suggests you served with him or her. Finally, a quarter signifies you were with the soldier when they passed away.

The origin of the tradition, like the meaning behind it, is still up for debate. But many people believe it started in America during the Vietnam War. America was having a crisis of conscience. Any discussion of the war usually devolved into a more significant discussion about politics. Leaving a coin was a way to say you appreciate the soldier’s service while avoiding an inevitable uncomfortable conversation.

 

I really wish I’d known this before our visit.

I would have broken my piggy bank and put a penny on each and every one.

 

19 thoughts on “Yorktown National Cemetery”

  1. Wow, I’m a veteran and I didn’t know about the coin tradition.

    Being respectful at a graveyard or memorial would seem to be common sense but unfortunately it’s not. We were visiting the 9/11 memorial at the Pentagon several years ago and a group of pre-teens were running around screaming and hopping all over the memorial benches that represented a life that was lost. I understand that kids that young may not understand the disrespect but the parents of those kids did nothing to teach them the respect, and that was the saddest part of all.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. I have left many nickles and dimes beginning in 1972, but these days traveling is too much of a burden to visit.
    Yeah. It was a tradition started in the days when we called our returning GI’s baby killers.
    Some of us have never forgiven a particular political movement for that and still resent it when they wrap themselves in a flag and huff in righteous indignation.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. My husband was spit on when he came home from Vietnam… and harassed by a group of anti war protesters when he stepped off the plane. But the beautiful thing about my other half? He holds absolutely no resentment.
      🙂

      Like

  3. Wow….I’m literally close to tears just reading this. Not to mention seeing that picture of your hubs standing over there, silently contemplating.

    It’s definitely a beautiful place, I love that they placed wreaths on each and every grave.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. When I was in school in Wmsburg, I often rode the Jamestown Parkway stopping in Yorktown at one end and Jamestown at the other, but I don’t think I visited this cemetery ~ just the cemetery at Bruton Parish Church in Colonial Wmsburg.

    Good share.

    Liked by 1 person

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