After the tragic shooting that unfolded at the Route 91 Festival, a man from Aurora, Illinois, decided to travel to Las Vegas, Nevada. After he arrived, people quickly took notice that he was spending a significant amount of time around the “Welcome to Las Vegas” sign. Soon, everyone would realize what he had been doing as they were left stunned to see what he had left behind.
While the nation is left grieving the loss of nearly 60 innocent lives and the injuries of over 500 more, Greg Zanis decided to take matters into his own hands. After traveling through several states and 1800 total miles, he arrived in Las Vegas to continue something he started many years ago, which he hopes he never has to do again.
Once he arrived in Las Vegas, he immediately went to the “Welcome” sign and got to work — but it’s what he left behind that has everyone talking.
As he has been known to do in the past, Zanis wanted to honor the victims of the recent shooting. In an effort to do so, he constructed and placed 58 crosses on the south end of the Las Vegas strip to commemorate the lives lost in the deadliest shooting in modern U.S. history, just behind the iconic “Welcome to Las Vegas” sign.
“I feel that Las Vegas is having one of its darkest days in American history, but I’m trying to shed a light on that by bringing hope with the cross and showing ‘you weren’t alone’ when this happened,” Zanis explained, according to KTNV. Unfortunately, Zanis has been forced to make over 20,000 crosses since he began doing this for homicide and shooting victims, including those who died at Sandy Hook, as well as in Colorado and Orlando, although this particular installation is tragically the largest number.
“This row of crosses will show the severity of what really happened there,” Zanis explained, according to Global News. “More so than numbers and pictures in the paper.” On every cross, Zanis wrote a victim’s name and even brought Stars of David for Jewish victims. A few of the crosses now have pictures of the victims mounted on them, and each one will eventually feature a heart.
People were absolutely stunned after seeing what this man had done. “Greg Zanis you are truly an angel… God bless him, all those who have been injured, lost a loved one and who help others every day,” one person wrote. “Thank you so much. I lost a really good friend of mine in the shooting. This means the world to me, and his family,” another said. While another simply kept it simple, saying, “Thank you, sir, for your love honor and your respect.”
It’s a shame that this man has to continue his “tradition” of erecting crosses for homicide and shooting victims. However, it’s a heartfelt tribute that the family members of those who have lost their lives too soon undoubtedly cherish. Although he doesn’t do this for the recognition, everyone needs to know what he has done for these victims because his kind act deserves to be spread and applauded.