I had the good fortune to be invited to present a paper at Tulane Law School this week. I took the St. Charles Streetcar from my hotel in the Central Business District out to Tulane, and since it stops on Washington Street, two blocks from Lafayette No. 1 Cemetery, I obviously had to spend an hour or so there. It was a drizzly, coldish (high 50s) day for New Orleans, so there were few visitors in the cemetery. I've visited Lafayette No. 1 numerous times, but it was particularly affecting to visit it without a horde of tourists.
There is something just so poignantly sad about a child dying, even a century ago, but made even more sad by the fact that the children were orphans and destitute. Destitute is just such a forlorn word. Apparently others feel as I do about the tomb, because a large number of trinkets and "decorations" have been left there. Mardi Gras beads (of course), but also toy cars and pennies.