Philadelphia Day Two: Christ Church Cemetery

Ben Franklin is buried in this lovely urban cemetery, as are many of the signatories to the Declaration of Independence. His grave is covered with coins — a custom I don’t quite understand. Flannery O’Connor’s grave in Milledgeville has coins on it too. I asked the cemetery attendant there if he knew why, and he didn’t.

Most interesting to me, though, as in all old cemeteries, was the graphic nature of death in those days. This family lost four children, three before they were a year old and one at age 11. Living into adulthood was not a given, and living into old age was something quite remarkable.


4 thoughts on “Philadelphia Day Two: Christ Church Cemetery

  1. I dont know where it started, but I carry a pocket of change with me when I go to Arlington.

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  2. for Ellen: From the information online, this did begin as a military tradition. Clearly, looking at the coins on Flannery O’Connor’s grave, the tradition has expanded.

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