Greg Zanis has made more than 25,000 crosses in his Aurora garage and placed them at the site of major tragedies across the country.
But these last five hit too close to home.
“I know it sounds stupid but I was blindsided,” Zanis said. “I never thought it would happen. I thought ‘wow, what a luxury that I’m able to run around the country and come back to my safe town,” and now it’s not.”
When a disgruntled employee opened fire at the Henry Pratt Company in Zanis’ home town of Aurora, it didn’t take long for the community to turn to him.
“Even before the shooting had stopped, people were calling me, stopping by my house. I live here. I can’t get away with just putting them up. I am expected to put them up,” Zanis said.
The painted white crosses were there within hours of learning how many victims died in the attack. Zanis also made crosses for the police officers who received gunshot injuries responding to the incident. Community members carried those in tribute from the site of the shooting to place in front of the Aurora Police Department.
“It’s just that I know that it’s helping America move on,” said Zanis. “We’re not licking our wounds. We’re standing strong – you see all these vigils around Aurora and how everybody rallies around it. We need to be united in America.”
Naperville News 17’s Casey Krajewski reports.
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