Man drives 1,200 miles to honor Orlando victims with 49 handmade crosses

Greg Zanis started building crosses for shooting victims that died 20 years ago. Just as he has traveled to other noted shooting sites in the U.S., Zanis brought 49 handmade crosses to Orlando to write positive messages on them. (Twitter/Carey)

An Illinois man traveled more than 1,000 miles from his home in Illinois to Orlando, Florida, in the wake of the death of innocent victims who were slain during the massacre at Pulse nightclub on June 12. 

Greg Zanis, 65, drove to Orlando with 49 handmade crosses -- one for each of the victims that died.

He erected the crosses outside of Orlando Health Medical Center, People reported.

Zanis also brought markers so that people could write positive messages on the crosses.



Zanis wrote one victim's name on each cross and signed his name on all 49 crosses. 

"I'm doing this for their families," Zanis said. "This individualizes it."

He said he wants to prove that love still exists in the world.

"My message today is: Love your bother, love your neighbor. Don't judge them," Zanis told CBS Miami

"Thank you, Greg," Florida Gov. Rick Scott tweeted on Friday.



Zanis, who started building crosses for tragedy victims after his father-in law was murdered 20 years ago, said he also brought crosses to Newtown, Connecticut, after the 2012 shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School.

“I went to Newtown put up 26 there,” he said.
He also visited Aurora, Colorado, after the movie theater shooting in 2012 and Boston in the wake of the marathon bombing in 2013, The Tennessean reported.

"I just want to let people know that Greg Zanis loves them," he told The Tennessean. "It is an act of Christian love. Even though some of these people might not be Christians, I have never been turned back."



Zanis made all the crosses -- each about 3 feet tall and 2 feet wide -- in his garage workshop.

Meet the man who drove 1,200 miles to Orlando to deliver 49 wooden crosses he made for each of the Pulse Orlando shooting victims. #lovewins

Posted by FOX 5 / on Friday, June 17, 2016