Sunday, July 22, 2012

Then and now: Zanis Travels Again to Colorado Bearing Crosses

As near to the site of death(s) as possible, descanso creation and installation will erupt within an hour or so of any sudden tragedy--especially when the dead are young. Especially when the tragedy was senseless. What happened on July 20, 2012 in Aurora, Colorado in terms of the amounts of public mourning and outcry was no exception. Here, the Boston Globe ( documents the labor of love created by Greg Zanis of Aurora. This was the second time that Mr. Zanis traveled to Colorado to place crosses for the dead.
Greg Zanis of Aurora, Ill., carried two of the 12 crosses he made for a makeshift memorial to the victims of the mass shooting at the Century 16 movie theater in Aurora, Colo. A carpenter by trade, Zanis made the 12 white crosses that were placed near Columbine High School after a mass shooting there in 1999. Zanis said he made these crosses as fast as possible and drove all night across the country to place them across the street from the theater.
Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

Greg Zanis, of Aurora, Ill., writes a name on one of 12 crosses, one for each victim, across the street from the Century 16 movie theater in Aurora, Colo.
From a file photograph. Zanis constructed the crosses near Columbine High School in Littleton, Colorado. In 1999, the St. Anthony Messenger credited Zanis with creating a touchstone upon which mourners could focus their grief.
This April 28, 1999 file photo shows an unidentified woman with 15 crosses posted on a hill above Columbine High School in Littleton, Colo. on April 28, 1999 in remembrance of the 15 people who died during a school shooting on April 20.

While such events probably won't cease, some solace arrives and places of contemplation are created because of the selfless work of people like Greg Zanis. 

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