greg zanis

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Greg Zanis makes memorial crosses for the 58 victims of the Las Vegas shooting

Greg Zanis who made memorial crosses for other tragedies such as Columbine, Aurora, and the Pulse nightclub shooting made the drive from his home in Aurora, Illinois to Las Vegas, Nevada, to place 58 crosses in honor of all the lives lost in the shooting perpetrated by Stephen Paddock on October 1st, 2017.

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“When the crosses started coming up the hill, I asked that each one be put in by a different person and that a different person write each name. You can see each style of writing is a little different. I asked if they would place the crosses in a particular order. I wanted Mr. Sanders to be in the middle, and I wanted the killers to be like the fangs of it.”

- Greg Zanis, the creator of the 15 crosses in memory of the lives lost on April 20, 1999.

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Greg Zanis of Illinois, is the man who constructed the crosses for the Aurora Theater Shooting Memorial in Aurora, Colorado.

Zanis, also constructed the crosses of the victims of Columbine on Rebel Hill. 15 in total, one for each of the shooters and the victims. Angered by the fact that Zanis made a cross for Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold, Brian Rohrbough, whose son Daniel died in the shooting, tore both shooters crosses from the ground and chopped them up himself after authorities refused to do so. After finding out what he did, Zanis took all the crosses he made for the victims home, and a memorial was erected in Chapel Hill Cemetery in Littleton.

This guy again–Greg Zanis, in another publicity stunt, has brought his crosses back to Colorado. In honor of the Aurora victims, he’s placed 12 crosses in plain view for people to remember them. He did the same thing in 1999 after the shooting at Columbine High School. It has been said previously that his reasoning for putting the crosses up in 1999 was to draw attention to his dwindling business.

(Greg Zanis, a carpenter from Aurora, Ill., carried 2 of the 12 crosses he made for a makeshift memorial to the victims in Aurora. He had made a similar trip with memorial crosses after the Columbine shootings. -The New York Times)

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Greg Zanis makes crosses for the victims of the Church shooting in Texas

Greg Zanis, 66, has made crosses for every mass shooting since 1997. He has even started a non-profit organization called “Crosses for Losses” so that he can continue to do this wonderful act of kindness. He estimates that he has made about 14,000 crosses since he started. 

He placed the crosses outside of the Church on November 8th. He had this to say:

“I’m just trying to show something that’s not around anymore that’s love and compassion and showing somebody you love them and doing something for them. This year I’m at 550 in Chicago alone. I came from Chicago to show you that I love you…. and I’m not alone. Everybody loves you. We’re in America, you are in a place where there is so much violence. Chicago is the poster child, but heck, now, you can’t go to Orlando or Vegas and enjoy a vacation anymore. I know the pastors got all the answers but actually… I’m the guy building those churches and those houses. It’s going to be a long time until things are back to normal here for you. Just have faith that it is going to be back to normal some day.”

Greg lives in Aurora, Illinois and he is a retired carpenter. 

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On April 30th, 1999, Brian Rohrbough, father of slain victim Daniel Rohrbough, took down two of the fifteen memorial crosses erected by carpenter Greg Zanis. The two crosses were dedicated to the two shooters Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold, who also lost their lives that day via suicide with the same weapons they killed with.

Speaking later, Brian Rohrbough said, “I don’t think any thinking person in this country is going to disagree with me - we never, ever honor a murderer in the same place as the memorial for his victims.”

Greg Zanis received a few hurtful calls for producing the crosses for the two killers. Later, Greg returned to Colorado to take down the remaining thirteen, but also received many calls to come back and put them up again. However, Brian Rohrbough said that, “If he puts them [Harris and Klebold’s crosses] up, I’ll take them down.” Subsequently, Zanis placed the thirteen in the same place as before, but planned to put the remaining two in a different place in Clement Park.

Pictured: Some of the 58 crosses placed near the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino on Las Vegas Boulevard in Nevada, honoring all of the lives lost on the night of October 1st, 2017 in what is now known as the worst mass shooting in modern US history. All of the crosses were handmade by a man named Greg Zanis, the same man who placed crosses at the sight of the Pulse nightclub shooting in Orlando last year.

Photo credit: CNN

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Crosses made and placed by a carpenter named Greg Zanis, one for each who died during the massacre, including the two shooters.

They were adorned with beads, rosaries, flowers and written messages from mourners. However, many wrote angered and derogatory remarks on Eric’s and Dylan’s.

Eventually, Brian Rohrbough (father of victim Danny Rohrbough) took down the two crosses that represented Eric and Dylan, saying that “[we] should never mourn killers in the same place as their victims.”

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“Greg Zanis, a carpenter from Illinois, crafted all 15 of the tall crosses that were displayed on Rebel Hill, in Clement Park across the street from Columbine High School. The crosses Mr. Zanis made for Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold were defaced several times while on display at the hillside memorial. The two crosses were eventually removed due to protest from people who felt that it was inappropriate to place a memorial to the two shooters in amongst the victims that they murdered. When the 15 crosses were moved to a park with the intent of making it a permanent memorial, public outcry forced the removal of Dylan and Eric’s crosses once more.”