PARADISE (CBS13) — There are many different tributes to those who died during Camp Fire but some may none as poignant as the crosses at the crossroads, which have been removed.
They stood as a tribute to those who died during the Camp Fire, but they were taken down just shy of the one year anniversary. Some say it’s disrespectful.
The crosses at the crossroads along Skyway heading into Paradise were a passion project of Chicago artist Greg Zanis, who put them up last December.
“It’s important to see there are people who didn’t make it out and it’s astounding only 85 didn’t make it,” said Sandy Miller.
Miller drives by the crosses every day. She works as a server at Nic’s, one of the few eateries that have reopened. She supports a recent decision to remove the crosses, but not everyone feels the same.
Some weighed in on social media. One person said: “I think things that were done right after the fire should be untouched forever. This is the people’s town. We need to remember.”
Another said: “I think they should have left them ‘til Nov. 8th also.”
Mark Thorp, the executive director of the Gold Nugget Museum, which also burned in the Camp Fire, says there’s a lot of emotion flowing through the community, but after months of discussion the decision was made.
“We have talked with Las Vegas and Pittsburgh, Aurora, and some other communities that have had similar situations. We determined because of the deterioration and our mandate to the community as a museum that we should collect those up as artifacts,” said Thorp.
Thorp says there are agreements with next of kin who he says want the move to the museum to happen with as little fanfare as possible.
“We lost our museum, so we have to start with our new history. So if that’s part of our history which it is, and it’s kept safe and respected. I think that’s a really important archive to have as we build our new Gold Nugget museum,” Miller said.
Thorp says the crosses will be in safe storage until the new museum at 476 Pearson road opens. That’s expected to happen in 30-45 days.