LETTER: Citizen concern of cemetery policies

Published 9:00 am Friday, June 14, 2024

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Dear Editor,

I am writing to convey how deeply disappointed and concerned I am about the new policies that our City of Franklin, VA South View Cemetery has put into place. 

Even though the city proclaims that these rules were already in place but there were no signs on site. Also, during the purchase of our loved ones’ plots, none of this was brought to our attention, and now instantaneously, they have prompt signs on the property that enforce these rules giving families a deadline to clear off our loved ones’ resting area by July 15, 2024. Speaking out on a more personal note, the time our families spend honoring our loved ones with personalized memorial decoys from the lights, to the garden flag, pictures, etc. I think these new limits will have a significant influence on people’s ability to pay their respect to their deceased loved ones since the cemetery has long been a place of comfort and remembering for families and loved ones. 

The new regulations forbid planting trees, shrubs, or other plants, as well as placing handcrafted markers on graves. Moreover, anything that is objectionable or injurious, according to the rules. As a visitor to the cemetery and member of the community, I am constantly in awe of the grounds’ peacefulness and beauty. 

For those who visit, the sentimental additions people make to their loved ones’ graves, such as plants, flowers, and handcrafted markers, have always been a source of solace and significance. It seems like a sudden, unwanted shift to forbid these objects, which would make it harder for individuals to meaningfully pay their respects. 

I am aware that the cemetery may be concerned about the upkeep and appearance, but I think there are more sensible ways to handle these issues. 

For instance, the cemetery might designate spaces for planting and memorializing, or it could set rules for the kinds of materials that can be used for handcrafted memorials. I implore the cemetery management to reevaluate these regulations and come up with a more sensible strategy that honors the community’s needs and customs. I am hoping that your publication will keep up its coverage of this matter and emphasize how crucial it is to maintain the purity appeal of our Southview Cemetery.


Lakesha Bynum