COMING UP: Don't miss Xfinity Monday Live, with special guest Emmanuel Sanders. Watch it on CBS4 at 6:30 p.m. or head to the new ViewHouse Centennial to see it live!

Local

Artist Returns To Aurora, Builds New Crosses For Anniversary

July 20, 2013 2:31 PM

View Comments
Greg Zanis (credit: CBS)

Greg Zanis (credit: CBS)

(credit: CBS)(credit: CBS)

AURORA, Colo. (CBS4) – A year ago a community memorial sprung up in Aurora that included large crosses that paid tribute to each of the 12 victims who died in the movie theater shooting. The man who built the crosses came from Illinois, and one year later he returned with a new set of crosses.

Greg Zanis, from the Illinois town of Aurora, says he felt a very close connection with the tragedy. His father was murdered many years ago, and when he heard about the Aurora shooting he felt like his “heart was broken.”

Greg ZanisGreg Zanis (credit: CBS)

“Nothing’s worse than to have somebody murdered,” he told CBS4 on Friday as he was putting the crosses up in the spot where the community memorial was a year ago. “Somebody takes a gun up and chooses to destroy somebody else’s life in a movie theater? This is supposed to be a safe place to go.”

Zanis said building the crosses took him three full days of work.

“I cut them out, sanded them and put three coats of paint on them,” he said. “And since I was a day early I made these beautiful red hearts to go with them.”

(Photo by Dana Romanoff/Getty Images)(credit: Dana Romanoff/Getty Images)

Zanis said he hopes the new crosses, located close to the revamped Century Aurora Theater, will be “more than the families of the victims expected.”

“The first year anniversary is the most special and hardest for anyone to get through, including the whole city of Aurora,” Zanis said.

Joshua NowlanJoshua Nowlan, 32, visits the 12 crosses. (Photo by Dana Romanoff/Getty Images)

Zanis said he wants everyone to stop and remember the victims on Saturday.

“If we had more peace these kinds of things wouldn’t happen,” he said.

Zanis has also built crosses in tribute to victims of the shootings at Columbine High School and Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn.

- Written by Jesse Sarles for CBSDenver.com

(credit: CBS)(credit: CBS)

(Photo by Dana Romanoff/Getty Images)(credit: Dana Romanoff/Getty Images)

(Photo by Dana Romanoff/Getty Images)(credit: Dana Romanoff/Getty Images)

Kimber AvraKimber Avra sits by a cross honoring her friend Micayla Medek. (Photo by Dana Romanoff/Getty Images)

(Photo by Dana Romanoff/Getty Images)(credit: Dana Romanoff/Getty Images)

View Comments
blog comments powered by Disqus
Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 1,465 other followers