Chicago shooting victims remembered on crosses at vigil facilitated by Greg Zanis

Community members gather to listen to prayer and mourn their loved ones who were killed this year in Chicago. The vigil was held at 3:30 p.m. Friday near the MLK Commons by student groups and Carpenter Greg Zanis.

By Jay Ibarra

DeKALB — A few more deaths occurred in Chicago by Friday, adding to the initial 128 cross count, finalizing Greg Zanis’s mission to commemorate the lives of Chicago shooting victims on campus.

Zanis, not-for-profit carpenter of Crosses for Losses, along with the Aurora Prayer Coalition, members of Kappa Alpha Psi fraternity, Black Male Initiative, Alpha Phi Alpha fraternity and Zeta Phi Beta sorority continued movements from of In the Name of Justice events from Nov. 3 where tombstones were lined along Lucinda Avenue to represent gun violence-related deaths in Chicago since 2007.

The student groups, Zanis, held a vigil Friday near the more than 130 crosses, which were on the pathway from the Holmes Student Center bus turnaround to the Founders Memorial Library, to honor those killed this year in Chicago.

Pastor Manny Rivera, of Aurora, facilitated prayer for over 50 attendees at the vigil while a flutist played over his readings. Zanis said he hugged friends and family members; he also gave his carved crosses back to families who had a loved one that was killed.

“We had a very emotional vigil [Friday],” Zanis said. “I had a few of the moms and fathers come pick up their sons’ crosses, showing that these kids are still loved even after they are dead.”