February 16, 2019

WHILE OTHERS WORK TO MAKE SURE IT CAN HAPPEN ANYWHERE:

Man who's made crosses after tragedies makes 'toughest' ones in Aurora, his hometown (Paul Murphy, 2/16/19, CNN)

Aurora resident Greg Zanis' 26,275 crosses have been seen at nearly every national tragedy since Columbine. Now, five more stand in his hometown.

He knew something was wrong when dozens of law enforcement vehicles, sirens screaming, rocketed by his house Friday afternoon. About 15 minutes later, Zanis' daughter called, saying there was an active shooter.

Police said Gary Martin, 45, opened fire at Henry Pratt Co., killing five colleagues and wounding five police officers and a fellow worker.

"I guess I never thought it could possibly happen here," Zanis said solemnly.

Most Americans probably don't know his name, but many have seen Zanis' work -- painted crosses with victims' names on them -- erected after a national tragedy.

Each one uses about $45 of wood, uses two coats of paint and takes about an hour to make.

"My simple message is just that heart on the cross," he said. "Love your brother, love your neighbor. Don't judge them. Life isn't that complicated. Hate and revenge is."

One year and one day before the shooting in Aurora, Zanis quietly constructed and installed 17 crosses at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida.

When there is tragedy, Zanis slips in, often unnoticed to many, to help Americans make sense of what's happened.

Posted by at February 16, 2019 7:13 PM

  

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