Written by Cheri Fisher Photos by Su Phelps
In the after mass of the tragedy that has happened here in Las Vegas, October 1, 2017, at 10:30pm, at the Route 91 Festival you can go to pay tribute to the victims at the Welcome to Las Vegas sign. There a retired carpenter for Aurora Illinois has brought 59 handmade crosses with hearts and names on each one. The contribution by Greg Zanis is his way to show that he cares about the victims and that he loves them. He started doing this in 1996 after a tragedy in his own family occurred. And over the years he has contributed over 20,000 crossed across the nation, to numerous tragedies.
The Welcome to Las Vegas sign has been the place for weddings, picture taking for groups and people who have come to Vegas to have fun and see the sites. Now it is a memorial for one of the worst tragedies in US history. The memorial itself is heart breaking to walk. The row of crosses which has the names of the victims, pictures, and mementos from the numerous people that have visited it just these last few days is overwhelming. People gathering together to say a prayer for a friend, family, or stranger they have never met except to see their name here at the memorial. It is so hard not to be emotional when the realization finally hits, to cry, and be angry or just stand there num from the experience. We all cope with tragedy in our own way, but this memorial brings it all to life that this happened here in our city. Every night as the sun goes down behind the Mandalay Bay and the candles are lit at the memorial you can feel the somber feelings of the people showing their condolences to the victims and tribute to their memory.
Mr. Zanis will leave the memorial up for 40 days after October 5th, and at that time he wants to give the crosses to the families of the victims.