Harwinton turns out to honor its heroes [Waterbury Republican-American]

May 31, 2011

By Bud Wilkinson
Waterbury Republican-American
Story as it appeared in the Waterbury Republican-American on May 31, 2011

HARWINTON — Two Memorial Day traditions — parades and cookouts — intersected Monday at the corner of Bull Road and Locust Road. Bryan Heavens and his family enjoyed the annual parade from their yard, while a few steps away across the lawn a hefty shoulder from a pig they had raised and slaughtered smoked on a charcoal barbeque.

“It was cute,” Heavens said later of the half-hour parade. “My daughter was smiling and laughing at all the dogs.” The dogs, accompanied by their owners, came to view the parade that honors those who gave their lives for their country.

Speaking from the green following the parade, State Sen. Jason Welch, R-31st District, noted that only 1 percent of Americans actually join the armed services. “That 1 percent lays it all on the line for the rest of us,” Welch said, noting that Memorial Day is “not about those of us here. It’s about those who didn’t come home.”

Leading off the parade was retired Air Force Col. Andrew Kasznay Jr., who organized the event from 1970 to 2008. He was followed military veterans and by representatives of virtually every town organization as well as the Lewis S. Mills High School Spartan Marching Band.

“The weather turned out to be absolutely great,” Kasznay said after the parade. “It is a time when everybody takes a few moments off to honor those who have given the supreme sacrifice and those who have served and are still with us,” said Kasznay, who was dressed in his uniform.

The parade wasn’t without casualties. Two vintage cars were forced to drop out along the parade route. “I overheated,” said Dennis Bearny, who drove a 1971 AMC Gremlin X with a 401 cubic inch motor. He coasted out of the procession where Bull Road met Locust Road. “It’s a high performance engine,” he explained.