The community is invited to the historic Franklin Cemetery for the annual Memorial Day Service May 27.

The community is invited to the historic Franklin Cemetery for the annual Memorial Day Service May 27.

Photo provided by Franklin Cemetery

Franklin to hold commemorative ceremony on Memorial Day

By: Mary Genson | Birmingham-Bloomfield Eagle | Published May 21, 2024


FRANKLIN — This year, Franklin resident and bestselling author Mitch Albom will be joining the community at the historic Franklin Cemetery for the annual Memorial Day service, presented by The Franklin Cemetery Association. The ceremony will take place at 11 a.m. May 27.

The community is invited to join in on recognizing Franklin men and women who sacrificed their lives while serving in the U.S military.

More than 260 veterans have been laid to rest at Franklin Cemetery, including veterans in every war from the War of 1812 through the Vietnam War. All veteran graves will be designated with flags.

“We have 23 Civil War veterans buried in the cemetery, one of which won the Congressional Medal of Honor,” Steve Bancroft, cemetery administrator, said. “We are going to kind of concentrate on them this year.”

Franklin Scout Troop 1699, the Oakland County Sheriff’s Office Honor Guard and other volunteers have collaborated to put on this service. Participants are encouraged to sing along during the ceremony. There will be a barbeque caterer with food and drinks for attendees.

Albom resides in Franklin and is known for his best-selling books, “Tuesdays With Morrie,” “The Five People You Meet in Heaven” and his most recent, “The Little Liar.”

He is slated to speak on “A Walk in the Footsteps of Henry Cox” during the ceremony.

Cox was an Englishman who came to the United States around 1849. He married and had five daughters, but when his wife died and he went off to fight in the Civil War, his daughters went to live with other guardians. After four years at war, he returned to Franklin and became a doctor.

Around 1893, he wrote to his sister back in England and shared the American tradition that is Memorial Day. He shared that on Memorial Day, he would lay flowers on the graves of 10 fallen soldiers buried in the cemetery.

Franklin Historical Society President Ann Lamott researched and was able to locate eight of the 10 graves that Cox honored. These eight soldiers’ graves will be marked with red, white and blue bows.

“That’s what he (Albom) is going to speak about: the eight soldiers that are buried there and how Henry Cox honored them,” Lamott said.

Guests are encouraged to bring their own lawn chair or blanket. The Franklin Cemetery, one of the oldest cemeteries in Michigan, is located at the corner of Franklin Road and Scenic Drive.

Lamott said the Memorial Day event each year is a great start to summer after a long winter.