The man known for making crosses and delivering them to scenes of tragedy across the country was met with a world of well wishers at his home in suburban Aurora on Friday.
Greg Zanis has made more than 27,000 crosses in honor of victims of gun violence in the last 25 years. His crosses were seen after mass shootings in Sandy Hook, Las Vegas, El Paso and his hometown of Aurora. But Zanis recently retired from cross making and is now fighting cancer.
Those who know Zanis well organized a parade of vehicles to drive past his house Friday afternoon. Aurora police officers directed traffic as drivers and their passengers waved to Zanis and thanked him for what he’s meant to people over the years.
“We’ve been following him for quite some time and we know the work that he’s done and all the peoples’ lives that he has touched,” said Aleta Bumbar, a resident of Sandwich, Illinois.
What Zanis started with the crosses will continue with Lutheran Church Charities.
“I promised we carry on his legacy and realize how big a legacy he has,” said Tim Hetzner, president and CEO of Lutheran Church Charities. “He’s just an incredible man and so humbled to take that on and take it forward.”