Across America, people are gathering to remember the fallen victims of the 1 October shooting that took place just 12 months ago in Las Vegas.
In the months after the tragedy, stories of heroes who saved lives and brave victims who have made determined recoveries have risen out of the ashes, uniting strangers who will forever share a bond.
One year ago, Illinois resident Greg Zanis traveled to Vegas just days after the shooting and placed 58 crosses around the “Welcome to Fabulous Las Vegas” at the city’s entrance.
One year later, Zanis, a carpenter by trade, has returned to Las Vegas to once again honor and pay respect to the 58 fallen.
The original set of crosses that Zanis made have been moved to the Clark County Museum for display.
So on the first anniversary of the 1 October tragedy, Zanis made another set of crosses, so that this year, families can take them home.
“It’s hard because she should be standing right here,” said Michael Warino, who’s sister Heather Alvarado was killed in the shooting.
“They should all be standing right here, not just these crosses. They should all be standing here. It’s hard to see this,” Warino said.
Zanis agrees that the sight is heart-wrenching to see. As he places the crosses at the memorial site, he said it’s all he can do not to cry.
Zanis wants the Las Vegas community to know that they are remembered, that each name on the cross is important.
“Just doing it for the families to show that we do care,” Zanis told KVVU-TV. “It’s been a year and just imagine what a family’s gone through.”
For loved ones left behind, like Warino, the effort and compassion Zanis has shown their community is deeply appreciated.
“He did not have to do this and he’s doing it,” Warino said. “People like that are what everybody needs.”
In times of such deep loss, it’s often difficult to know what to say or what to do.
Zanis doesn’t have to say much at all — driving across the country with 58 handcrafted crosses shouts volumes of love to the families who are still bearing the ache of 1 October.
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