LAS VEGAS -- Faith and government leaders paid tribute to Aurora, Illinois’ own Greg Zanis Sunday, declaring it "Greg Zanis Day" in Clark County after Zanis delivered 58 crosses to honor victims of the Las Vegas shooting just days after the October 1 attack.
"It’s fitting that a carpenter is who has brought us together," said Rev. Dan Haas, A Future and a Hope Foundation. "What it did is give me, personally, was a moment to start to grieve."
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.
"This has been a place of mourning, healing," said Steve Sisolak, Clark County Commission. "I don’t think Greg has fully appreciated how these crosses have brought us together."
An idea born in the Chicago suburbs years ago has expanded across the country. And many in Las Vegas took a moment to give the man behind it all a solemn thank you for his compassion and generosity.
"Words can never comfort people for those who lost a family member or friend and that’s why having these crosses is so important because you don’t need words, you can go there and reflect and pray silently," said Rep. Dina Titus (D-NV) said during a ceremony Sunday.
After they are removed from the Vegas Strip, officials said the crosses will be preserved for future generations in the Clark County Museum.