2000 Aurora crosses heading to DC on anniversary of Trump’s inauguration as symbol of gun violence

2000 Aurora crosses heading to DC on anniversary of Trump's inauguration as symbol of gun violence

2000 Aurora crosses heading to DC on anniversary of Trump’s inauguration as symbol of gun violence

“It’s very private. I give a cross to the family, then make one for the lot. I know everyone’s got different homicide totals, and I’m not trying to get it exact. I’m just happy there’s 100 less this year,” Zanis says. “When families come for the vigil, I tell the young men, ‘I know what you’re thinking. If you go get whoever did this, I’ll be making a cross for you next.’ A lot of times, they get it.”

turned his focus to Chicago during its record 2016 violence. He built 800 crosses that year, carried by families on Dec. 31 in a poignant silent march down the Magnificent Mile.
Maudlyne Ihejirika @maudlynei | email Sign-Up for our Newsletter  Sign-Up Pulling up to the vacant lot in South Side Englewood, the driver of a white truck and trailer — emblazoned with a bright red heart and Crosses For Losses — seemed out of place.

Zanis’ own family tragedy was the springboard for Crosses For Losses. His father-in-law was murdered by a burglar in 1996. Struggling to process the loss, he began attending a victim support group. When the grieving mother of a murdered 6-year-old asked Zanis to build her a cross, he did, eventually discerning his calling.

“I love what I do. If there’s a piece of plywood in the garage, I can’t sleep. I gotta cut it. In October, it came to me that from a unique viewpoint, I’ve seen the nation on its knees for more than 20 years now. It’s time to go to D.C. But this isn’t political. This is just about saying, ‘We remember.’ I’m bringing my father-in-law’s cross.”


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