Las Vegas Sun

December 15, 2017

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Illinois man installs 58 crosses to honor Las Vegas victims

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Mikayla Whitmore

A memorial of 58 crosses by Greg Zanis at the Welcome To Las Vegas Sign on October 5, 2017. Each cross has the name of a victim taken during the mass shooting at the Route 91 Harvest festival this past Sunday.

Cross Memorial Welcome To LV Sign

A memorial displaying 58 crosses by Greg Zanis at the Welcome To Las Vegas Sign on October 5, 2017. Each cross has the name of a victim taken during the mass shooting at the Route 91 Harvest festival this past Sunday. Launch slideshow »

An Illinois man known for honoring the victims of mass shootings around the country installed 58 white crosses on the Las Vegas Strip on Thursday.

Greg Zanis drove nearly 2,000 miles from the Chicago area to install the crosses on a patch of grass near the iconic "Welcome to Las Vegas" sign, not far from the site of the Route 91 Harvest country music festival where 58 people were killed on Sunday night.

Zanis, a 66-year-old retired carpenter, made his first cross 20 years ago when his father-in-law was killed.

"That just changed my life," Zanis said. "My first cross was for somebody that I loved. And when I put up these crosses here, I always think of my personal loss here too. Always."

Zanis has become well-known for erecting more than 20,000 of the markers over the past two decades, including after the Columbine and Sandy Hook school shootings and the massacre at an Orlando nightclub.

The crosses, which Zanis said took him two days to cut and paint, feature a red heart.

He plans to keep the tribute up for 40 days before giving the crosses to the families of the victims.