Jeanie Riess works at the New Yorker. Previously, she was a reporter in Mississippi and Louisiana. Her work has appeared in Smithsonian, the New Republic, South Writ Large, and elsewhere.
Amid the chorus of opinions and think pieces, the loudest, most eloquent voice was Mayor Landrieu’s, immortalized in a speech he delivered on May 19, 2017. The remarks were meant to unify the city after a divisive period, but they were also meant to explain, from start to finish, the position he had taken from the beginning. “There is a difference between remembrance of history and reverence of it,” he said.