Soldiers, veterans place coins on graves ahead of Veterans Day

Fort Sill soldiers place pennies on gravestones ahead of Veterans Day

FORT SILL, Okla. (TNN) - Tomorrow is Veterans Day... and the celebration started this afternoon.

Soldiers and Vietnam veterans were out placing pennies on headstones to honor and pay respect to veterans laid to rest at Fort Sill’s Post Cemetery.

Pennies, nickels, dimes and quarters have different meanings when placed on a headstone, but the penny symbolizes that someone has come to visit and pay respect to the service member’s grave.

“When you see the coin on the headstone, it represents to the family that someone has come and paid honor to that veteran who has either served in peacetime or during wartime," Lt. Col. Brad Hayes said.

The 2nd Battalion, 6th Air Defense Artillery Regiment organizes the ceremony every year. The Battalion Commander said the significance of the coins is to show appreciation for veterans.

Normally, residents from the Veterans Center in Lawton would join in on the remembrance festivities in-person, but this year, due to COVID, that wasn’t possible... so they participated virtually.

“Representatives from our battalion who were at the Lawton Veterans Center who placed coins on a table there at the VA Center and then we were proud to be able to take those coins that were presented at the VA Center and place them here physically at the Fort Sill Cemetery on their behalf," Lt. Col. Brad Hayes said.

VA Center residents were able to watch from afar as soldiers placed coins on gravestones as a symbolic gesture.

The Commandant of the U.S. Army Air Defense Artillery School said it’s a great way to recognize and honor those who made the ultimate sacrifice for their country.

“As a soldier of 26 years now, I wouldn’t be here if it wasn’t for our veterans, so it’s important to once a year stop and honor them but really we should think about them everyday and honor them everyday," Col. Richard Harrison.

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