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A Highlander And His Books

Remembrance: A Tribute To America’s Veterans
By Robert A. and Robert B. Fletcher
Reviewed by Frank R. Shaw, FSA Scot

Remembrance: A Tribute To America’s Veterans

Let me set the record straight. I am breaking new ground by reviewing a non-Scottish book for the first time. To include it in the pages of The Family Tree, the world’s largest Scottish newspaper outside of Scotland, should tell you how much I think of this book. 1992 Pulitzer Prize winner and WWII veteran, Louis Simpson, wrote the forward. That alone is worth the price of the book! This is a book review with some personal commentary about my family, again, breaking new ground for the column.

This book has another first. Never before has a book portrayed veterans and military funeral scenes from all the wars America has fought in since we won our independence. It is page after page of watercolor paintings, pencil drawings, and text. Wonderful stuff! The authors, father and son, are quick to point out that this tribute salutes the 26.2 million veterans who are alive today and those other millions who came before them. It is the story of America’s finest and bravest men and women who have served their country. Yes, it is a book about these warriors who we proudly call our own. It is "Dedicated to all veterans of America’s Wars and those who love them".

Bob Fletcher, the father, is as talented an artist as we have in our country today. He paints in a reconstructed barn overlooking a pond on his farm in New Milford, New York. A veteran of the Korean War, Bob became a general partner in the Fletcher-Walker-Gessell Advertising Agency. His technical illustrations have appeared in magazines throughout the world including Aviation Week, Flight Magazine, and Jane’s Armament Books.

Rob Fletcher, the son, is just as talented in his own right as an author, singer, and musician, having written Blues Harmonica for Beginners, Blues Grooves for Guitar, The Gospel Harmonica Workbook, and Kim Wilson: My Blues. A corporate teambuilding consultant and a trained Wilderness First Responder, Rob earned a BA in Music Performance from the State University of New York at New Paltz.

Bob did the artwork for this book, and Rob wrote the narrative. They compliment each other’s work like two sides of a coin. Bob pointed out to me that the "Fletchers were arrow makers for the MacGregor clan on the Northwest shore of Loch Lomond," and he went on to say that "the trademark for Iron Mountain Press was adapted from the Fletcher crest". So you see, there is a Scottish connection.

This book is very relevant to the current times we live in. Afghanistan is not that long ago. We fought a war in Iraq. That war is over. Our troops are coming home. We are now looking July 4th in the face - another time of remembrance. It is also a time of thanksgiving for all those in the service of our country who went before us and made it possible for us to enjoy our lives and families. Yes, it is a time of Remembrance. The many facts and stories in this book are too numerous for this space, but they will cause you to pause and give thanks you are an American living in this land of ours! Simply put, this book will make you proud.

This book may cause you personal reflection as it did me. I found out just a few weeks ago while speaking at St. Andrews College in Laurinburg, NC, that my 5x grandfather Daniel, from Scotland’s Isle of Jura, was a Lieutenant in the Revolutionary War. He was captured in Charleston, SC on 12 May 1780 and exchanged 14 June 1781. He was rewarded with 2,560 acres of land on the Columbia River in Tennessee in lieu of pay after the war. I’ve written before about John W. Shaw, my grandfather, who was captured at Fort Fisher, NC on 15 January 1865 and taken as a POW to Elmira, NY where he remained until the end of the war. My three brothers served during WWII in the Army and Marines and all returned safely from Guadalcanal and Europe. My brother, Gene, was a Marine Drill Instructor at Camp Lejune, NC and also served in the Pacific and later in Korea. Brothers Manning and Carl both served in the Army. Fred, Alvin, Frank, Walter (all WWII soldiers) and Bruce (Viet Nam), men who married my sisters, served with honor and distinction in the Army, Navy and Air Force. A man I loved as much as my own, W. Victor Etheridge, my father-in-law, was an Army Sergeant during WWII in the Pacific. A different feeling invades your heart and mind when you write it all down and look at the family names, remembering the places they served, as well as the successful lives they lived afterwards, with seldom a comment about the various wars they fought in. That is what this book did for me.

As my own personal tribute to all American service men and women, I would like to close by quoting a poem Don Malcolm, a jet pilot in the Air Force, First Lieutenant, used in his "Toast To The Troops" at the St. Andrew’s Society of Atlanta’s annual Robert Burns Nicht at the Druid Hills Golf Club in January of this year.


It is the soldier, not the reporter, who has given us the freedom of the press.

It is the soldier, not the poet, who has given us freedom of speech.

It is the soldier, not the campus organizer, who has given us the freedom to demonstrate.

It is the soldier
who salutes the flag,
who serves beneath the flag,
and whose coffin is draped by the flag,
who allows the protester to burn the flag.

Father Dennis Edward O’Brien, Sergeant, USMC

Let me put Remembrance in proper perspective. This book is peerless in its subject matter. It is one of a kind, in a class by itself, a very wonderful book with a powerful and moving message about our people, our military traditions, our strength, our land, our values and, lest we forget, our compassion for our own who serve "in harm’s way". It is very difficult to read this book and not find yourself closing your eyes and thanking the Good Lord for these men and women. My personal thanks to the authors for this book.

You can purchase this book from the Fletchers’ own Iron Mountain Press, P.O. Box 7, New Milford, New York 10959 or call 845-986-9861 or fax 845-988-9915. ISBN O-9722961-0-7. The website for the authors is Iron Mountain Press books are available at special discounts for bulk purchases, for sales promotions, fund-raising, or educational purposes. (May 8, 2003)

Return to June/July 2003 Index Page


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