All it took was a carpenter to help ease the pain of those suffering.
A Chicago man who has been honoring murder victims by placing cross displays near the sites of tragedies was honored on Monday by Clark County officials. The officials designated Nov. 12 “Greg Zanis Day.”
According to WGN:
Since 1995, Zanis has built more than 22,000 crosses as a remembrance for murder victims, from those killed in gang violence in Chicago to, increasingly, victims of mass shootings across the U.S. For a month, 58 crosses honoring the victims of the attack on the Route 91 music festival have rested near the iconic "Welcome" sign along the Las Vegas strip.
A Las Vegas television station gave Zanis a new truck with a trailer for his crosses. They also gave him rent money and $20,000 for his non-profit. He was also surprised with a visit from his daughter.
But Zanis isn’t in it for the notoriety or the generosity given back to him. Zanis’ message is one of love.
“I love you all,” Zanis told Fox 5 - Las Vegas. “Because of you, I’m able to spread love for everybody in America.”
People love Zanis right back, judging by their opinions of what he’s been doing over the years.
“This has been a place of mourning, healing," said Clark Country Commission Chairman, Steve Sisolak. "I don’t think Greg has fully appreciated how these crosses have brought us together.”
“It’s fitting that a carpenter is who has brought us together," said Rev. Dan Haas, Executive Director of A Future and a Hope Foundation in Zanis’ hometown of Aurora, Ill. "What it did is give me, personally, was a moment to start to grieve.”
Sometimes all you need is a chance to deal with your emotions in trying times, like the one in Las Vegas, in order to come to peace with what has happened. Zanis’ provides that chance.
“I feel that Las Vegas is having one of its darkest days in American history,” said Zanis. “But, I’m trying to shed a light on that by bringing hope with the cross and showing that you weren’t alone when this happened.”
Thank you, Mr. Zanis.
For Zanis' story, watch below: