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It's been a few weeks since Memorial Day, but if you've ever seen a penny on a grave in Minnesota, we now know what it means.

I was talking with a friend the other day who, like many of us, visited his parents' graves over the Memorial Day holiday this year. On a headstone near his parents' graves, he noticed a shiny penny sitting there and wondered what it meant.

I can't say I've ever observed a similar instance of seeing a penny (or other coins) on a headstone. I've seen mostly flowers, along with a few other keepsakes, on some graves but never any coins.

However, after doing a little research online, it turns out that if you see coins on a grave here in Minnesota, it DOES have a specific meaning. According to this story from WideOpenCountry, coins can often be seen placed on the graves of deceased military members. Seeing coins on a grave allows the family of the deceased soldier to know that someone has come to visit the grave.

And, the story notes that each coin has a specific meaning, too:

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

What a cool thing to do! If you've never heard of this coin custom, don't worry, it's apparently fairly new. The story said it's really only become popular here in the U.S. since 2009 or so, even though some believe its origins can actually be traced back to the Vietnam war.  The story also noted that those coins are often collected and used for the upkeep of the cemetery.

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List of Events and Fun in Rochester on July 4th, 2022

Bring your lawn chairs, blankets, snacks, and drinks and celebrate the 4th of July at 4th Fest, a free event happening at Soldier's Field Park in Rochester, Minnesota. According to the City of Rochester, here are the events planned for the day and evening.