‘4,000-mile trip:’ Man travels from Illinois to El Paso to honor 22 killed in shooting with handmade memorials

Crosses For Losses for El Paso shooting victims (Getty Images)

EL PASO, Texas — While the sun was shining Monday, Aug. 5 in El Paso, a dark cloud remained after the tragic events that unfolded Saturday, Aug. 3. That’s why Greg Zanis said he felt compelled to drive to El Paso to help any way he could.

“This will be a 4,000 mile trip,” Zanis said.

Zanis left his home in Illinois on Saturday after news of the shooting broke, arriving in El Paso on Monday morning with a heavy heart and a truck full of supplies.

Zanis owns the company Crosses For Losses.

For years, he’s been bringing his handmade crosses to the sites of some of the country’s worst tragedies.

“You put a hand on a cross, I put a hand on a cross, and we pray, and that’s it,” Zanis said.

He said giving from the kindness of one’s heart helps those who need it, as well as those who give it.

“I’m asking people to come down here and start writing messages,” Zanis said. “I’m asking you to come down here and bring a teddy bear or a flower or something. It helps you, too.”

He said he believes coming together is the only way to overcome tragedy.

He even had a message for everyone.

“I want them to go home and love somebody that they’re hating,” Zanis said.

The more than 20 crosses he made Monday might serve as a somber reminder of the tragedy, but the crowds of people who signed them and wrote messages to the victims served as a stronger symbol of love.

“Today, love wins. Amen,” Zanis said.

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