He Drove 2K Miles to Install Crosses in Vegas

Greg Zanis creates tribute to the victims
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Oct 6, 2017 7:06 AM CDT
He Drove 2K Miles to Install Crosses in Vegas
Greg Zanis stands in front of crosses he placed near the city's famous sign Thursday in Las Vegas.   (AP Photo/Gregory Bull)

An Illinois man known for honoring the victims of mass shootings around the country installed 58 white crosses on the Las Vegas Strip on Thursday. Greg Zanis drove nearly 2,000 miles from the Chicago area to install the crosses on a patch of grass near the iconic "Welcome to Las Vegas" sign, not far from the site of the Route 91 Harvest country music festival where the victims were killed on Sunday night, per the AP. The 66-year-old retired carpenter made his first cross 20 years ago when his father-in-law was killed."That just changed my life," Zanis says. "My first cross was for somebody that I loved. And when I put up these crosses here, I always think of my personal loss here too. Always."

Zanis has become well-known for erecting more than 20,000 of the markers over the past two decades, including after the Columbine and Sandy Hook school shootings and the massacre at an Orlando nightclub. The crosses, which Zanis says took him two days to cut and paint, feature a red heart. He plans to keep the tribute up for 40 days before giving the crosses to the families of the victims. (Shooter Stephen Paddock left a note, but it had only numbers, not words.)

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