FOX 32 NEWS - His creations can be seen across the country at places marked by tragedy. Now, the man who crafts these wooden crosses is making them for Chicagoans lost to gun violence - all 748 of them.
Greg Zanis has made this his mission, building and transporting crosses for victims of tragedies.
Over the summer, he took 49 white wooden crosses to Orlando, Florida to honor the nightclub shooting victims. Earlier this year, Zanis took six crosses to Gage Park for the six family members brutally murdered in their home.
His current project is to make a cross for every homicide victim this year in Chicago.
Zanis is getting some help. Someone has donated the lumber to build the hundreds of crosses, enough wood he says, to build a small house.
The Aurora man started building the crosses two decades ago when his own family experienced a horrific crime. He found his father-in-law murdered in a nearby home and has been making crosses ever since.
He wants his Chicago project to start a conversation.
“It's just one man going out of his way to show that kind of love and I know how important that is because then people feel they are remembered,” said Zanis, “I’m just hoping the world will look at this and somebody will come up and try to do something to help.”
Zanis said he will have the crosses completed by New Year’s Eve, when he and St. Sabina’s Father Michael Pfleger will march them through the streets of downtown Chicago.
The crosses will then go to the victim's families.