In Remembrance...
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In Remembrance...

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"Band of a brother"

Rock group formed in memory of slain Marine visits Harrisonburg

By Andrew Jenner

It was a Wednesday afternoon, May 3, 2006. Nick Letendre was 18, nearly finished with his senior year at Gar-Field High School in Woodbridge. When the call came, he was closing up the music store where he worked.

“Nick, you need to come home.” It was Dad, distressed. “Your brother’s been killed in Iraq.”

Neighbors had already gathered by the time Letendre pulled up to the house.

Inside, a notification officer and chaplain from the Marine Corps were talking with his parents: Car bomb. Al-Anbar province. Capt. Brian Scott Letendre, 27, wasn’t going to return from a second, voluntary tour of Iraq. He was buried that Mother’s Day at Arlington National Cemetery.

Now, as the three-year anniversary of his brother’s death approaches, Nick Letendre is coming to Harrisonburg with his band, In Remembrance, which he formed to honor the memories of his brother and others like him.

“I’m respecting him the way that I know how,” said Letendre, who was always the musical one in the family (Brian and Justin, another brother who also served a tour in Iraq as a Marine, were more sport-jock types).

In Remembrance formed about a year ago, with an initial modest goal of helping Letendre, now a 21-year-old music education major at Old Dominion University, record a few songs he’d written. The group, made up of a few of Letendre’s high school classmates, ended up playing a few shows — about half their songs are covers and the rest are country-inspired rock originals. A few shows led to a few more, then a few more yet, and this winter, In Remembrance caught an unexpected break through a MySpace connection: an invitation to join the bill of a nationwide tour of military bases.

“Right away, there was just something about them,” said Loretta Palacios, the owner and promoter of the first-ever Freedom To Rock tour, which will visit several dozen military bases between California and Virginia this summer. Palacios, who cried when she heard Letendre’s song “Brother,” — one of the group’s hits — adjusted her already-set tour lineup to include In Remembrance.

Before the tour starts in July, the band is playing a number of shows closer to home (Letendre lives in Norfolk, the others are still in Northern Virgina), including a date at Dave’s Taverna Saturday, April 25. Exciting prospects after the summer tour have led Letendre to seriously consider taking the fall semester off from school to pursue music full-time. The band, he said, has already been booked for the Marine Corps Marathon and has had some promising conversations with several organizations that organize musical tours of American military bases overseas.

In addition to using their music to support troops and their families, In Remembrance has also begun donating a portion of band merchandise sales to TAPS, an organization that assists friends and families of people who die during military service.

Letendre said he writes nearly all of his songs in 10 minutes — tinkering any longer than that usually means the idea’s going nowhere. “Brother,” though, took a few months.

He was nine years younger than Brian; the last time they ever saw each other, Nick was just getting old enough to relate to his older brother as a peer and a friend. In the song’s chorus, he sings, “Brother, will I see you again one day? / Brother, well, I had so much left to say.”

“I just want to sit down and have a beer with him,” said Letendre. “I think he would have been proud [of what we’re doing].”

In Remembrance will play an all-ages show at Dave’s Downtown Taverna in Harrisonburg at 9:30 p.m. on Saturday, April 25. The cover charge is $3.
- Rocktown Weekly

"Nothing is Forever"

Finally a tribute band with meaning.

In memory of Capt. Brian S. Letendre, In Remembrance… does not only share his story, but also honor every member of the United States Armed Forces who have fought for American rights and freedom.

On May 3, 2006 Capt. Letendre, a husband, father, son and brother, died during operation Iraqi Freedom. In April 2008 Nick Letendre, Aaron Peck, Daniel Rastatter and Nick Harris brought their musical passions and talents together to create In Remembrance…

A combination of musical interments and lyrics with meaning, In Remembrance… Nothing is Forever is guaranteed to find a place in everyone’s musical library.

Their five track EP, Nothing is Forever show cases the exquisite mixture of the bands talents. With Letendre’s alternative and country-esque vocals, Peck’s lead guitar rhythms that keep you moving through the music, along with the sound of his alto saxophone, Rastatter’s classical rock, funk and progressive influenced bass and Harris’ progressive rock and hip-hop drum style, In Remembrance… finds their way not only into your heart but also your musical memory.

Brother is not only the feature tribute song but also Letendre’s temporary farewell and story about his older brother, Capt. Letendre. Pulling on the strings of your heart, Brother provides and an outlet song for anyone who as lost someone close to them.

With soft sounds and lyrics that everyone can relate to, Red Ink and This Life provide as a new twist on the softer side of rock. Be prepared for your ears to fall in love with Letendre’s voice, Peck’s guitar, Rastetter’s bass and Harris’ drums, while your mind gets lost in the words.

From Red Ink’s “Well, wait a minute, just stop right there. Why am I the one who cares, someone’s missing but nothing’s wrong now that you’re the one who’s gone. Wait a minute stop right there, because I don’t care, I don’t care,” to This Life’s “This life ain't good enough for me. This life ain't good enough you see. This life ain't good enough for me,” the sounds of In Remembrance… will stay with you long after you turn the music off.

With a goal greater then becoming the next big names in the musical word, the guys of In Remembrance… put their hearts and souls into the music making it a memorable experience. In Remembrance… strives to not only keep the memory of fallen soldiers alive, but also strive to make a difference outside of the musical realm. They are committed to donating 10% of their CD sales to Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors (TAPS).
- Music Review . com


Concert Dec. 20th to Benefit Families of Fallen Heroes

UPDATE: December 18, 2009: Due to the winter storm warning for the Washington, DC area, the concert is being re-scheduled for a later date. Check the TAPS Web site at or the In Remembrance Facebook page for more information.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE - December 15, 2009

WASHINGTON - Nick Letendre has been a musician for more than a decade, but ever since 2006, he picks up his guitar and raises his voice for a higher purpose.

Letendre’s older brother Brian, a Marine Corps Captain, was killed 3 years ago while conducting combat operations in Iraq.

“I remember being so angry when I heard,” said Letendre. “I remember driving home and just hitting things in my car…I lived the next few days in a fog.”

As his family processed the loss, Nick leaned on his music as a way to grieve.

“I didn’t really know what to do with myself,” he said, “The rest of my family was mourning in their own way and this was the way I felt most natural to release my emotion.”

Eventually I turned to some of my friends who wanted to help, and we started to play together.”

In 2008 Nick formed a band called ‘In Remembrance’ to honor his brother’s sacrifice as well as the service of other military members around the world.

‘IR’ has tour dates scheduled well into 2010 at military bases across the nation, but this Sunday they will play a special concert at the Rock and Roll Hotel in D.C. to directly benefit families who have lost a military loved one.

“When I was at Arlington and heard about TAPS, they identified with what I went through and was still going through, and it made all the difference.”

TAPS (Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors) is a non-profit organization based here in D.C. that offers immediate and long-term support for anyone grieving the loss of a military member.

Created in 1994, TAPS has grown to more than 25,000 widows, children, siblings, parents, fiancés, etc., who provide a network of healing for newly-bereaved military families and friends.

“We want to do all we can for these families,” said Letendre. “I know what they’ve been through, and I know they need the support of TAPS.” - TAPS

"More Than Just A Band"

More than just a band
Heather Gioia
WOODBRIDGE, Va. – They rocked the stage Wednesday nights, packing the bar at Cheeseburger in Paradise with fans and those just lucky enough to have stopped by for a drink.
In Remembrance formed in 2008 with a goal: to honor Marin Corps Capt. Brian S. Letendre of Woodbridge, a husband, father, brother of a band member, Nick, and son, who was killed in May 2006 during Operation Iraqi Freedom.
Capt. Letendre died at the age of 27 and had first entered Operation Iraqi Freedom in 2003 then returned in 2006. He had been stationed in Connecticut and is buried in Arlington National Cemetery in Arlington, Va. Capt. Letendre left behind five survivors; including his wife, Autumn and his son, Dillon, 6. Capt. Lentendre’s death had a traumatic impact on his family, yet lead to the creation of something amazing — In Remembrance.
Nick Letendre, 21, is the motivating force behind In Remembrance, and was lucky enough to find four other guys who support not only what his brother did, but also what the military does.
“We just support the military, no matter what,” said Letendre. “We have no political association. Together we probably cover the spectrum of views.”
In Remembrance’s goal is to honor every member of the United Stated Armed Forces who has fought for American rights and freedom.
“There is a reason behind the band,” said Harris. “It’s not just another band.”
The generous sound
Together Letendre; vocalist and acoustic guitar, Joe Ford; guitar and backup vocals, Daniel Rastatter; bass, Aaron Peck; guitar and alto sax and Nick Harris; drums, have gone from local Woodbridge boys taking music classes at Gar-Field High School, to become heroes to military families.
“It means a lot when a group like you guys make music for us,” said a military veteran who left a comment on In Remembrance’s Web page. “It’s like a support group, I don’t know what it is about music, but I will tell you one will do us vets a hell of a lot better than a psych visit each and every month… keep up the good work.”
Each band member brings a different musical background to create an addictive new twist on the sounds of country and rock.
In Remembrance donates 10 percent of their merchandise sales to the Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors (TAPS). And in May In Remembrance… played at the TAPS National Survivors Conference in Maryland. Hanging out with siblings of fallen military around the hotel and up in their rooms during the day, then performing for them on stage at night.
“It is the start of them [military personnel] being appreciated more for what they are doing,” said Letendre. “That what they are doing isn’t pointless.”
Harris added that, “We are showing them [military personnel] that there are people that appreciate them.”
On June 6 In Remembrance packed Cheeseburger in Paradise for their album release party, which scored them a central show spot. Until recently, every Wednesday night had been Bike Night at the restaurant on Smoketown Road, where you could catch the band performing tracks off their album The Price of Freedom, as well as cover songs. Cheeseburger in Paradise also donated a portion of the night’s sales to TAPS.
The Price of Freedom
The Price of Freedom album consist of ten original tracks and is on sale online at and at the iTunes store for about $9.99 for the ten tracks. A special album is sold at their live shows consisting of the ten tracks off The Price of Freedom, as well as the five tracks from their EP (demo) album, Nothing is Forever, for $12. At live shows you will also find t-shirts on sale for $15, 10 percent of which is also donated to TAPS.
“It is a great feeling, playing for TAPS,” said Peck whose parents both served in the military.
Hometown heroes
In Remembrance band members are more than just heroes to the military and their families, but also role models. They have shown Prince William County (PWC) school kids, and others, that you can use that you learn in public school towards your future. Each attended PWC schools and graduated from Gar-Field high school to take everything they learned and make it amount to even more. Letendre, who is a substitute teacher at PWC schools, tells his students the story of how he went from the school boy learning to play tuba in band class to the talented musician he is today. He explains to them how he used what he learned on the tuba and transferred that knowledge to other interments.
Proud parent, Milt Letendre described In Remembrance as, “A away to express how he [N. Letendre], feels about his brother,” said M. Letendre. “And, that is an honorable thing to do.”
In the spring/summer of 2010 In Remembrance plan to hit the road and take tour on the 2010 Freedom Rock Tour. The tour will consist of stopping at about 60 military bases in the United States and abroad to rock for and with troops. They have also been approved for the 2009 Armed Forces Entertainment Performances.
With their “biggest accomplishments yet to come,” as Ford put it, In Remembrance continues to drill forward striving for ultimate success. Within the next year these boys would like to hit the recording studio again and head out on tour.
In Remembrance is currently sponsored by Native Eyewear and Blue Horseshoe Tattoo. The band is still searching for local sponsors to assist them in any way they can and hop on to what has been a path to success.
From the love of playing music and being in a band with friends, to the death of Capt. Letendre and their undying support for the military, one thing is for sure; these boys play for more than that record label and platinum track.
“For me, I play in remembrance of my Mom,” said Harris whose Mother passed away in 2007. “She was my biggest fan and supporter. It is what she would have wanted, and she would love to know that I play for a cause and donate to charity.”
Side Box:
See In Remembrance… LIVE!
Occasionally playing acoustic tracks at Cheeseburger in Paradise
July 31 9pm Mirrors Night Club in DC
Aug 01 9pm Down Under Occoquan, Va.
Aug 20 Prince William County Fair, Va.
Sep 25 9pm Down Under Occoquan, Va.
Sep 26 9pm Down Under Occoquan, Va.
Oct 24 8am Marine Corps Marathon in DC
Nov 07 12pm University of Richmond Homecoming Against Villanova Richmond, Va.
Nov 13 9pm Down Under Occoquan, Va.
Dec 04 9pm Down Under Occoquan, Va.
Side Box:
Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors
-TAPS is a National Organization that provides 24 hours a day 7 day a week support for family members of fallen soldiers. They provide local grief support groups, a monthly TAPS magazine and an online community where survivors can chat and message one another. The TAPS website provides information about government benefits such as Survivor Benefits, Casualty Affairs and Casualty and Mortuary Affairs. From their page you can make a personal donation or learn more about the TAPS program.
- “They [TAPS],” said M. Letendre. “Provide a service with a lot of good information.”
Side Box:
Check them out ONLINE
Side Box:
Meet the band
Nick Letendre- Nick is the lead singer and acoustic guitar player. He graduated from Gar-Field High School in 2006 where he went on to pursue an education in music at Old Dominion University. In May 2006 Nick’s brother, Capt. Letendre, died in Operation Iraqi Freedom and became the driving force behind his music. Nick brings the splash of country to In Remembrance’s style.
Aaron Peck- Aaron is the guitar and alto sax player. Aaron graduated from Gar-Field High School in 2006 and actually took two years off of playing music before Letendre recruited him for the recording of a solo project, which soon became In Remembrance… Aaron brings the harder side of music to the band providing a touch of metal and hard rock.
Nick “Beatnix” Harris- Nick is the drummer of In Remembrance… Nick graduated from Gar-Flied High School in 2006 and was Letendre’s first thought of must have band member. Nick has a love for music and a sirens love for drums. Nick learned how to play drums from another local drummer and close friend, Jared Jamieson drummer of Mercy Forgotten. Nick presents to be the “needy” band member at shows, always in search of a coke. Nick plays in remembrance of his Mom who passed way in 2007 and brings the funk to In Remembrance… with his jazz fusion style.
Daniel Rastatter- Daniel is the bassist of In Remembrance…. Daniel graduated from Gar-Field High School in 2004. Daniel loves to play to support America and our troops and was brought to the band by Harris. Daniel brings the progressive rock style to In Remembrance…
Joe Ford- Joe Ford is the guitarist and backup vocalist of In Remembrance… Joe graduated from Gar-Field High School in 2006 where he went on to continue his education in music at the College of Charleston in South Carolina. Joe is a long time friend of Letendre and has been playing music with him or in a band with him since eight grade. Joe loves playing music, performing gigs, practicing, and learning new songs, all of which In Remembrance provides him with the opportunity
- Heather Gioia - Potomac News

"Band plays to remember, pay tribute to those touched by war"

Band plays to remember, pay tribute to those touched by wars
FEB 02, 2010

Jordan Helton/MNS

Nick Letendre tunes his guitar as he stands in front of a picture of his brother in his family home.

Jordan Helton/MNS

Click to listen to Nick Letendre describe his reaction to the life and death of his brother, Capt. Brian Letendre.

The reverberation of live music hummed down the street, leading to the small crowd gathered in Down Under, a basement bar.

Residents of Virginia’s Occoquan area settled in for a good time, taking turns milling around the bar, shouting encouragements at the band and dancing in the narrow aisle near the door.

By all appearances, a typical bar.
But a not-so-typical band.

With the slogan “rock for our troops!” printed on their cards, the band, In Remembrance..., supports more than just themselves with the profits from their merchandise and events.

Begun as a way for the lead singer, Nick Letendre, to cope with the loss of his older brother in the war in Iraq, the aptly named band now honors all members of the armed forces with their music.

“I wasn’t really as out emotionally as my family, and I found music as a way to let it out,” Letendre said. “And it turned into something bigger, we’re trying to support the troops as a whole.”

He never guessed his way of expressing his feelings would ultimately lead to starting a band with a cause, although it’s the typical band story -- a few guys getting together to make music, then recording a few songs, then playing for others, not just for themselves. And then the twist: an idea of how to help.

“We decided to do something bigger than just say we support the troops,” said Nick Letendre, the lead singer. “We wanted to say we supported the troops, but then also go that step further in trying to help the families.”

The band gives 10 percent of its merchandise sales back to the Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors (TAPS), an organization that cares for the families of the fallen. But most of their donations come from fundraising concerts and events.

They have helped to raise more than $1,500 dollars for the organization, with $400 coming directly from the band.

“Out of our salary, that’s quite a bit,” Letendre said.

A different kind of connection

For Mel Adams, Down Under’s bartender, the band’s cause was one of the main reasons she gave them a shot to play during the weekends.

“I just loved what they represented,” she said.

The band usually plays at the local bar at least once a month, Adams said. Reinforcing the “Cheers” like atmosphere of the bar, she said she really does know the band members by name.

“I have so many bands come in and this is the only band that I know each one individually,” she said. “It’s like watching my little boys up there.”

But Adams isn’t the only one to feel a connection with the band.

Letendre said he often gets comments and hugs after a performance, especially from people with friends and family at war.

“I get big sobbing hugs from people who are overly appreciative for what we’re doing, or people who haven’t lost someone necessarily, but they want to get involved in what we’re doing,” he said.

Though not all of the band’s songs are military related, Letendre said the relationships he develops with other siblings who have lost someone in the war is “one of a kind.”

“Most musicians just have a connection like ‘Oh, your music is good,’” he said. “I think we have a higher connection, a deeper meaning.”

Drummer Nick Harris, who also dedicates his music to his late mother, agreed.

“I hadn’t realized what music could do for certain people,” he said. “It gives them a way to relate; it’s more than just saying words.”


One song that resonates with almost all audiences is “Brother,” written by Letendre about his own brother, Capt. Brian Letendre, who died in 2006.

Adams still remembers the first time she heard the song.

“When I heard “Brother” it gave me instant goosebumps,” she said. “I cried, it just brought tears.”

Sara Quindlen, a friend of the band, said the song moved her because it reminded her of her own siblings.

“It was very emotional because I have brothers and sisters,” said Quindlen. “It adds so much to the show, because you see how dedicated they are.”

Arlington Cemetery served as the setting for the song’s music video. Featuring video, pictures and audio only of those with family members buried there, it gave a voice to many people in the same situation as Letendre.

Though heavily edited to take out the sappy lyrics -- Letendre says his brother would not have approved of those --, the words still carry great meaning. The writing process, he said, was therapeutic.

“I wanted to write a song for my brother, because i just needed to have it out somehow,” he said. “It’s a healthy way for me to talk about my brother instead of me just sitting in my room depressed.”

It’s also a kind of therapy for the listeners, too. Whether they have lost someone or not, music is a force that brings people together and helps them relate to another, he said.

That relationship to music is something Letendre said he understands.

“I think I’d be miserable if I didn’t have music or the band. It is 100 percent an outlet.”
- Jordan Helton


Nothing is Forever - EP
The Price of Freedom - LP



In Remembrance... is dedicated to serving all of our military and their families. The band was formed in honor of the lead singer Nick Letendre's oldest brother, Brian Letendre; who served as a Marine Corps Captain who lost his life when serving our country in 2006. The band has worked honorably to support the military and their families by partnering up with Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors (T.A.P.S.) to raise money to aid families who have lost a loved one in active duty military service. T.A.P.S. provides various forms of support to families, such as grief counseling and crisis intervention programs. In Remembrance... has pledged to donate 10% of all merchandise sales to T.A.P.S. to honor our fallen heroes, by providing for their families.