Image

2:07 PM / Tuesday January 28, 2020

2 Jan 2020

Man who made 27,000 crosses for shooting victims is retiring

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
January 2, 2020 Category: Oasis Posted by:

ABOVE PHOTO: Greg Zanis

AURORA, Ill. (AP) _ An Illinois man who made more than 27,000 crosses to commemorate victims of mass shootings across the country is retiring.

Greg Zanis came to realize, after 23 years, his Crosses for Losses ministry was beginning to take a personal and financial toll on him, according to The Beacon-News.

“I had a breaking point in El Paso,” he said, referring to the mass shooting outside of a Walmart in El Paso, Texas. “I hadn’t slept for two days, it was 106 degrees and I collapsed from the pressure when I heard there were two more victims of the mass shooting.”

Zanis has set up crosses after the school shootings at Columbine, Sandy Hook and Parkland. He also placed crosses after the Las Vegas music festival shooting and the Orlando nightclub shooting.

“I leave a piece of my heart behind each time I go,” he said.

In 2016 he made more than 700 crosses that were carried along Michigan Avenue in Chicago to honor each person who had been killed that year.

Earlier this year, Zanis found himself making crosses for his very own hometown of Aurora, Illinois, after a Henry Pratt Co. employee opened fire on his coworkers.

Image

“After Orlando, it never stopped,” Zanis said of the mass shootings. “The country had me on the road for a while every week. I have driven 850,000 miles to put up crosses. I slept in my truck and never had the money to cover what I was doing.”

With donations from time to time, Zanis mainly relied on his own resources to build the crosses.

“At one point last year I was $10,000 in debt and somebody covered that for me,” he said. “Now I am $14,000 in debt.”

Zanis hopes to pass on his ministry to the nonprofit Lutheran Church Charities of Northbrook.

“I feel is is not the end of the ministry. It is the end of me doing it,” he said.

  • Facebook
  • Twitter

Leave a Comment

Recent News

Commentary

Will money rule in this presidential race?

January 24, 2020

Tweet Share Pin Email By Julianne Malveaux TriceEdneyWire.com Democrats started this presidential campaign season with more than...

Travel

Smooth Traveler: Small town tales: Short Pump and Ashland, Virginia

January 23, 2020

Tweet Share Pin Email ABOVE PHOT: Ashland Mural (Photos: Renée S. Gordon) By Renée S. Gordon In...

Seniors

Ways to make the world a better place for seniors

January 23, 2020

Tweet Share Pin Email Family Features By 2050, the senior population (adults age 65 and older) will...

Entertainment

Terry Crews visits Philadelphia to talk life lessons, ‘America’s Got Talent’ and the beauty of creativity

January 23, 2020

Tweet Share Pin Email By Kharisma McIlwaine Terry Crews truly embodies the word multi-hyphenate, having been incredibly...

Color Of Money

Swiping payment cards at the pump could put your card information at risk

January 23, 2020

Tweet Share Pin Email BPT Have you paid for gas recently at the pump where you’ve had...

Horoscopes

SUNscopes for the week of Jan. 26

January 23, 2020

Tweet Share Pin Email All Signs: This week, the Sun and Mercury are in Aquarius; Venus joins...

The Philadelphia Sunday Sun Staff