Red paint and the haunting music of Vangelis.

This is what always comes to my mind around Memorial Day.

The red paint rubbed off the US Park Service wood fences onto my winter coat that protected me from the cold November wind.

The music played over speakers as people pulled those fences apart and made their way down to the Vietnam Veterans Memorial wall.

It was 1982 and I was a month away from my 9th birthday. But I remember being at the wall the day it was dedicated.

I remember racing to keep up with my dad as he jumped off the curb and joined the New York contingent of veterans marching in the parade before the ceremony. It was the first parade he and his fellow Vietnam veterans got.

I remember seeing the name my dad had come to see: Gary E. Schubert from West Virginia. He was born on September 11, 1947.

He died on December 14, 1967.

Oddly, I couldn't find any videos of the images and scenes I remember from that day three decades ago.

But that's okay. 

I remember the red paint and the music.

I remember.