Harwood Union Remembers Five Teenagers Killed in Wrong-Way Crash; Senior Class Dedicates Gazebo

MORETOWN, Vt. - It's been nearly a year since five young lives were cut short after a horrific crash. On Thursday, teachers and family came together to remember each individual.

"The dedication of this gazebo is in rememberance of Cyrus, Eli, Liam, Mary and their friend Janie," said Lisa Atwood, Harwood UHS Principal.

Eli Brookens, Cyrus Zschau, Mary Harris, Liam Hale and Janie Chase-Cozzi were killed by what police describe as a wrong-way driver last October on I-89.

Liz Harris, Mary's mother cut the ribbon along with school board chair David Goodman at Thursday's dedication ceremony. The gazebo comes as a gift from the senior class and thousands of dollars donated by the public.

Goodman said, "The community is the wind at it's back and were there to pick them up when they were down and this gazebo is just another example of how supported we feel."

"I cannot think of a more perfect gift than this gazebo... It is perfect, it belongs and it fits," said Atwood.

Staff at Harwood Union say the past year has been like no other.

Goodman said, "Our instinct has been to come together in the school, at an amazing candle light vigil on the soccer field and so this gazebo is a gathering place, it's a place to continue coming together."

Reporters were asked not to speak to the families and student during Thursday's ceremony, and we honored that. However, five students from the senior class took to the podium to read a poem.

"Laugh as we always laughed at the little jokes that we enjoyed together, play, smile, think of me and pray for me... Let my name be ever the household word that it always was," said Noah Williams, Harwood UHS senior.

Students and staff say the gazebo was a way to make something beautiful out something sad.

Goodman said, "I feel like when I'm in that gazebo that I hear those five kids laughing along with us, there spirit is very much there and will be long after this class moves on."

This coming Sunday, October 8th marks one year since the crash but it's evident the healing continues and that the Harwood Union community is on that journey together.

"We received the genorosity of many people from the communities that have stepped up who have assisted our students and faculty with counseling services, therepy dogs, yoga, massage and all sorts of ways that students can get support," said Brigid Nease,

 


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