Man drives across country to erect display of crosses for Las Vegas victims (videos)

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Greg Zanis, a retired carpenter from the Chicago area, has kept busy the past several years doing a job he wishes there was no need for – building crosses in memory of shooting victims.

Thursday, Zanis arrived in Las Vegas and erected 58 hand-made crosses on the strip in Las Vegas, to honor each victim killed by the horrific massacre Sunday night, Oct. 1, the deadliest mass shooting in modern U.S. history.

Each white cross bears the name of a victim, along with a red heart, and a photo of the victim. He also encourages people to write messages on the crosses.

Zanis said he lined up the crosses all together to show “this is a whole big family of people that were killed here.”

“We’re sick and tired of murders here in America,” he said. The trip to Las Vegas took him about 24 hours.

The entire tribute is expected to remain in place for 40 days, then each cross will be given to the victim’s family. A GoFundMe page set up by his son to help pay expenses for his father’s efforts has already raised over $5,000.

Zanis built his first cross in 1996 to cope with his grief, after discovering the body of his father-in-law, who had been killed by a gunshot to his head.

Twenty years later, he now says he has built around 20,000 crosses to honor victims all across the country.

Last year, Zanis drove all the way to Florida to put up 49 crosses in tribute to the 49 victims of the Pulse nightclub shooting.

He also erected crosses for the victims of the Columbine High School shooting, the Colorado theater shooting, and has created hundreds crosses honoring victims of gun violence in the Chicago area.

In Las Vegas, Zanis said, “This row of crosses will show the severity of what really happened there. More so than numbers and pictures in the paper.”

 

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