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  WINDY CITY TIMES

Man behind memorial crosses retires
2019-12-27

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Greg Zanis—the Aurora man who has built more than 27,000 white crosses to commemorate victims of gun violence—has decided to retire, ABC 7 Chicago reported.

Zanis started making those crosses in 1996— the same year his father-in-law was shot and killed.

Windy City Times profiled Zanis in 2017, after he put up 49 crosses in Orlando, Florida—one for each of the victims of the Pulse Nightclub mass shooting. Zanis, who considers himself a straight ally, said he has friends who are a part of the LGBT community—and what happened in Orlando was heartbreaking to him.

"The Bible tells us, 'Judge not,'" Zanis told Windy City Times. With this notion in mind, Zanis immediately said yes when he received a call from one of the victims' mother asking him if he'd be traveling to Orlando with his homemade crosses.

He also told the publication that the goal of constructing the crosses was to be a closeup call. Hopefully, he said, the memorial is "a major way to slow down crime."

The full ABC article is at abc7chicago.com/society/greg-zanis-founder-of-crosses-for-losses-retires-after-27k-crosses-built/5789983 .


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