Crosses representing gun violence victims on display in murder capital of the U.S.

CHICAGO, Illinois -- If you want to know how violent our country is when it comes to guns, you only have to see a mass number of wooden crosses, one for each victim of an individual attack or a mass shooting to put it all in perspective.

Greg Zanis travels the country to sites where gun violence has unfolded.

Currently, he has 563 crosses and the number keeps growing.

According to the Major Cities Chiefs Association, in 2016, Chicago had 650 homicides. Many of those victims died by a bullet. To put that in perspective, Houston only saw 269 homicides in 2016. Both are large figures, but Chicago's is out of control.

In Chicago, the streets are killings fields, homicide investigations are non-stop for police, ERs are packed, trauma doctors are overworked and the coroner's office is constantly busy. Zanis wants each of the victims to be remembered.

"The whole country is watching Chicago. We need to at least let them see what's going on in Chicago," said Zanis.

When his crosses are on display, the area is considered a so-called 'cemetery'.

"Today I'm making Grant Park into a cemetery for a day," Zanis said to WGN-TV.

His crosses have traveled the country -- to Aurora and Orlando, Las Vegas and here in the Houston area, where the wood crosses were on display at Santa Fe, the site of the latest mass school shooting just a few weeks ago.

"These are human beings who were meant to be in the world," said one woman, "They have value not only to people who love them, but to the world."