About the Book
A Timeless Treasure
The hardcover edition of Brothers in Arms is beautiful like a coffee table book but small enough to carry with you. In 350 beautifully illustrated pages, we take the reader on a fascinating visual and narrative journey — of the war, of America in the first half of the 20th century, and of these solemn resting places — all through the stories of these heroic brothers.
I had the great fortune of meeting Jerry Takigawa of Monterrey, CA, an incredibly gifted graphic artist, photographer and book designer. He designed the cover and all the pages of the book, lending a skilled hand and keen eye to artfully displaying these precious family artifacts pulled from dusty shoe boxes and old photo albums from around the country. It also turns out that Jerry had his own family World War II story, which he has turned into an award-winning book and art exhibition. You can learn more about that here.
We begin the book with the words of Abraham Lincoln, from his Gettysburg Address. While certainly one of the most famous speeches in American history, it was especially appropriate for this book because it took place at the dedication of an American military cemetery. From there, we talk about the history of American military cemeteries, the inspiration for the book and how we put it together.
The book is organized by cemetery and follows the war somewhat chronologically, starting with the North Africa American Cemetery, where the battle against Nazi Germany first began, and ending with the Manila American Cemetery, in the Pacific, where the war ultimately concluded. The chapter introductions include stunning photos of these inspiring resting places and highlights the talented architects, scultors, and landscape designers who created them. We also discuss the major battles and episodes of the war.
A Story of Brothers
The heart of each chapter are, of course, the stories of these brothers, 72 in all, from all parts of the country, from big cities and small towns, and from all walks of life. The great thing about the book is that you don't need to read it straight through. You can pick up the book, read a few stories, and put it back down. I promise you, some of these stories you will come back to again and again.
Artifacts of a Life
With historic photos and artifacts collected from the families who lost these brave brothers and including personal remembrances of them, we illustrate their lives on the home front and on the battlefront. With letters, telegrams, old photographs and newspaper articles, these brothers come to life on the page.
We include photos and words of thanks to the many families who shared the stories of these brothers with us. We also recognize the many contributors to the book, including the American Battle Monuments Commission (ABMC), the federal agency who oversees these cemeteries with dedication and compassion.
List of Brothers
At the back of the book, we include a list of all brothers either buried or memorialized at an American World War II cemetery overseas. The list includes some 286 sets of brothers. While we we were only able to track down and tell the stories of 72 sets of brothers, our search for these other brothers continues...