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Controversial Crosses Of Englewood Going To NIU — Then Back To South Side

By Kelly Bauer | March 20, 2017 2:34pm
 Greg Zanis at the memorial in the 5500 block of South Bishop Street.
Greg Zanis at the memorial in the 5500 block of South Bishop Street.
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DNAinfo/Andrea V. Watson

CHICAGO — The man behind the controversial crosses of Englewood will temporarily remove the memorial and bring it to Northern Illinois University for a prayer vigil.

The crosses, which mark each murder in the city in 2017, will be moved from a lot in the 5500 block of South Bishop Street and taken to NIU on Tuesday. They will be set up at the campus with the help of 60 volunteers, said creator Greg Zanis.

After the vigil they'll return to Englewood, said Zanis, a West Side native who now lives in west suburban Aurora.

The memorial has generated controversy in Chicago, with some even threatening to tear down the crosses, but Zanis intends to keep making crosses for every person murdered in Chicago this year. He built more than 750 crosses last year and gave them to victims' family members.

Zanis hopes to bring the crosses to Los Angeles and other cities in the future, he said, though details on those trips are not yet available. Zanis has also created crosses for victims of other mass shootings, including for five students killed in the Feb. 14, 2008, shooting at NIU.

The vigil is 3 p.m. Friday near the Holmes Student Center at NIU in DeKalb.

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