Latest Posts





Memorial Day Promise by Immigrant Author Katharine Jirsa Reynolds


We promise you who sleep beneath white crosses
In far-off lands – in cool green depths of seas,
That this, your land, the home your hearts so cherished
Will be forever free from tyrant hands.

We promise you by all we hold most holy,
By all the blood and tears a whole world shed,
To rid this earth of monster greeds —- creeds hoary
That bred the hates that piled up all our dead.

We promise you, dear hearts, beneath war’s crosses,
Beneath the sea-green waves that rock your battle beds,
That we, who weep, shall pay in true soul treasure
For every drop of blood your young hearts shed.

We promise you by every God men worship,
To keep this earth — a home — for all mankind;
To cleanse our hearts —- plant gardens —- create beauty;
Make real the dreams you dreamed and were denied.

Oh sleeping sons, of this our grieving nation,
You have our promise and our bitter, bitter tears.
Our promise that forevermore we shall remember
The gift you made to free this world from fear.

Katharine Jirsa Reynolds,

Lombard, Illinois 

The author, the great-grandmother of Kim Crockett, came with her parents to the United States from Czechoslovakia as a very young girl, then Katharine Jirsa.  She later taught school in a one-room schoolhouse, then wrote novels and short stories in Lombard, Illinois and while living in South America with her husband who worked there as an engineer.  In 1930, she co-founded Lombard’s Lilac Festival, still celebrated every spring.  She also co-founded a weekly newspaper with her brother Frank Jirsa that is still in circulation today. Her first of four sons, Thomas George Reynolds (my maternal grandfather) was born April 9, 1906.  Unbeknownst to his family until after the War, he worked on the Manhattan Project in Manhattan. She wrote this poem after World War II. 




Upcoming Events

  • Morning in Minnesota Breakfast Series: Winona

    Location: Signatures Restaurant, 22852 County Road 17, Winona, MN 55987

    Please join Center of the American Experiment Friday, March 6 at Signatures for a FREE breakfast with economist John Phelan.

    Register Now
  • Lunch Forum with Amity Shlaes

    Location: Hyatt Regency Minneapolis 1300 Nicollet Mall Minneapolis, MN 55403

    Buy tickets HERE. About This Event: Enjoy our Early Bird Ticket Special through February 23rd! After this date, ticket price will increase to $30. Doors open at 11:30 AM, program and lunch begin at Noon. In Great Society, the New York Times bestselling author of The Forgotten Man and Coolidgeoffers a stunning revision of our last great period of idealism, the 1960s, with burning relevance for our contemporary challenges. Today, a battle rages in our country. Many Americans are attracted to socialism and economic redistribution while opponents of those ideas argue for purer capitalism. In the 1960s, Americans sought the…

    Register Now
  • 2020 Annual Dinner Featuring Sarah Huckabee Sanders

    Location: Minneapolis Convention Center Ballroom 1301 2nd Ave S Minneapolis, MN 55403

    American President: The Unorthodox Approach to Politics that Changed the World. Sarah Huckabee Sanders served as White House Press Secretary for President Donald J. Trump from 2017 to 2019. A trusted confidant of the President, Sanders advised him on everything from press and communications strategy to personnel and policy. For two and a half years, Sanders was at the President’s side, battling with the media, working with lawmakers and CEOs, and staffing the President on every foreign trip, including dozens of meetings with foreign leaders. Sanders is only the third woman and the first mother to hold the job of…

    Register Now