Building Bridges (Updated)

Posted on 2021-09-19
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September 19, 2021

On Sunday, September 19, 2021, I had the honor and pleasure of joining the Chicagoland “The People’s Bridge” assembly pay tribute to Veronica, our fallen digital soldier, who succumbed to her illness on Monday, September 13th, 2021.  We visited her bridge and paid respects with cards, flowers and other mementos in her memory.  As she would have us do, we interacted with her mobile patriots below. 

 The gathering ended with fellowship over lunch.  A small next step I took Charlie’s lead on was to offer to lead grace as forks were making their way to mouths.  I got a resounding yes by all as the utensils were laid back down and hands came together in prayer.  After we said grace two people at the table thanked me for making and taking that gesture.  They agreed it was something that should be more commonplace.  We shared stories and thought of how to carry on Veronica’s work of uniting people of good will.   For now we bid a fond farewell to Veronica and close her chapter and perhaps carry her torch in a new one!   

 We concluded the day’s event by singing our National Anthem in “The People’s Bridge” tradition.  

July 24, 2021

On Saturday, July 24th, I began the day donned in my CORAC Fighting 379 Squirrel bucket hat gear, with the Sacrament of Confession.  Then on schedule, I headed out to attend an Illinois election integrity grassroots luncheon sponsored by Veronica Wolski, aka “The People’s Bridge.”  This dear retired proponent of freedom and liberty uniquely and creatively speaks to countless people with her handmade banners on display via a busy Northwest Chicago Highway pedestrian bridge overpass since 2016.  The luncheons have become a routine meeting ground for gatherings in support of causes close to her heart.

This was the first time I had joined a “The People’s Bridge” community affair.  Veronica was recuperating from an illness and sent along containers of salad for everyone meeting there to feast on.  To foster the intended election advocacy work, four representatives manned a table that was set aside in the designated dining area within a quaint suburban Americana bar and grille.  Guests proactively registered at the tables, completed affidavits which were immediately notarized by willing volunteers, and then we received petitions to read and sign and then deliver via certified mail to state officials, with all materials needed to finish the work at hand given to us there and then.

The section we occupied at the restaurant sat approximately 50 people and was packed when I arrived after 1:00pm.  Roughly three shifts of people came and left in two of the three hours allotted that I partook in on that beautiful Saturday afternoon of meetings and mingling, which fell on the anniversary of my departed mother’s birth, eighty years prior.  God rest her soul.   A lovely older couple from a town south of Springfield, Illinois welcomed me to sit with them at their small table.  They had traveled over 100 miles, one-way, to attend this function and it was their first time joining this particular group too.  We had chatted as if we were longtime friends about the election corruption in the state and other current events.   By the end of our time together, I invited them to join us at

I ordered a light lunch and I later learned that all orders were put on one tab (on our honor).  During the lively conversations abounding, Veronica called in on a friend’s cell phone and was put on the speaker.  Although being bedridden, she wanted to let us know while fighting tears how much she appreciated and loved each one of us.   She further added that her friend Christine from Boston sent military baklava for dessert too with her regards.  Moments later a waiter handed the co-host an envelope addressed to Veronica but mailed to the establishment in the hopes of finding its way to her from Oregon.  We opened and read the hand written card that was sent with a token gift card for Veronica’s art supplies as a note of gratitude for her love and support of family, freedom, and dedicated military and law enforcement personnel.  I befriended a couple of women, Nora and Julie who were seated together at a  large main floor dining table.  They did not know each other and through casual conversation, we learned that all shared a Chicago neighborhood in common in which we all live(d) in and one is a neighbor of mine today.  Sadly, she is a recent police officer widow to suicide and was accompanied by her teenage daughter who attends public school in our village.  Upon learning that we were in the same school district, I was immediately invited to share contact information on a piece of paper being passed around the crowd and welcomed to assist in public school board efforts to aid in ending the tyranny imposed upon our children.   She addressed everyone in attendance and asked them to network with an initiative called Awake Illinois,, in which she has chosen to lead and spearhead a chapter in our community.  As long as we are taxpaying residents in the state, we can join together in strength of numbers and address the state school board members.  All were welcomed and encouraged to do likewise in their communities/public school districts.   I believe that Julie mentioned that these activist group chapter opportunities are available to start nation-wide.  I plan to attend a local school board meeting followed by a  separate gathering of members to unite in person and plan collectively for future endeavors to this cause in the weeks ahead and will share additional updates.  My new friend Nora brought a get well card and collected get well wishes and cash donations to purchase a Hobby-Lobby gift certificate for Veronica as well.

Approaching the end of our time together, we all joined hands and a woman excitedly offered to and led us in a prayer of petition for universal restoration of civilization followed by heartfelt gratitude for the efforts given for the glory of and guided by God our Father.  The money collected for the tab fell short and one gentleman came forward and donated $100.00 to cover the unpaid balance and tip.  Everyone was in good spirits and the experience, for me, was reminiscent of the good faith in tight knit communities I once knew and loved in better days gone by.  These are the very days we are committed to being “all in” in CORAC mission to usher in the Triumph of Mary’s Immaculate Heart.


  1. MP

    There are like-minded allies everywhere! Love it that you found some and did some networking on behalf of CORAC. Boots on the ground!

    • Jen Byrd

      Amen. The locals had a gathering this evening to discuss, next steps. My car is still in the shop. So I replied to undisclosed recipients in a bulk bcc email group sent by an apparent leader, D, for a ride to the gathering. D, said her and other core members could not arrange a ride for me to the American Legion Hall, but that she would personally reach out to me and give me the information and all documents from the pow-wow at a later time. God is so good, if I had shown up at this meeting, not being a school district parent currently, I may have gotten lost in the crowd. As fate would have it, D and I after online pen-paling a bit today have become fast friends!

  2. Littlelight

    I’m so sorry, for the loss of this incredible, inspiring woman. Our faith teaches us to hope she will be doing even greater works in The Lord’s care. Adding my prayers for her repose and for all who mourn her.

  3. Jen Byrd

    Thank you dear littlelight for your kind words and prayers that brought tears to my eyes. She was/is an inspiration and because of her I have found many new friends along my path! May she rest in peace.

  4. MP

    A wonderful homecoming for her, well met by Jesus. An absolute disgrace for her callous countrymen who show zero regard for life because of blind arrogance.

    • Jen Byrd

      Sad and true! Thank you, MP.

  5. MarieUrsula

    Dear Jen ~

    Thank you for this touching report. I’ve known about Veronica for at least a couple of years but only recently heard that she had been hospitalized. The treatment didn’t go well, and questions abound.

    Nevertheless, an important part of her legacy is the community, including you, who are now in touch with each other, face to face.

    God bless and keep you all ~
    Sister Bear

    • Jen Byrd

      Thank you and God bless you and yours too, Sister Bear! ♥️

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ImageTitlePublished dateCategoriesTagshf:categories
Consider the Squirrels2022-01-22, , , , , , corac-leaders-forum inspiring-stories other-media
Building Bridges (Updated)2021-09-19, , , , , inspiring-stories corac-leaders-forum
Doing it Anyway2021-08-21, , , , , inspiring-stories corac-leaders-forum
Taking a Stand2021-08-13, , , , , inspiring-stories corac-leaders-forum
Defending The Constitution2021-05-24, , , , , inspiring-stories corac-leaders-forum
Walking With The Real Presence2021-01-28, , , , , inspiring-stories corac-leaders-forum
Celebrating Life2020-12-07, , , , inspiring-stories corac-leaders-forum
Living Rosary2020-08-15, , , , , inspiring-stories corac-leaders-forum


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