Winter Springs boy runs in honor of fallen officers killed in line of duty

Carrying a flag, Zechariah Cartledge runs 1 mile at a time

By Nicky Zizaza - Reporter

WINTER SPRINGS, Fla. - Zechariah Cartledge, a 10-year-old Winter Springs boy, recently committed to an ambitious adventure.

He has vowed to run in honor of all fallen officers killed in the line of duty in 2018 and 2019.

At an age when most children are focused on video games and tablets, the fourth-grader said the idea to pay tribute to fallen officers hit him after he attended an event hosted by Tunnel to Towers Foundation.

Cartledge said the foundation aimed to honor military members and first responders who make the ultimate sacrifice inspired him.

"To take a bullet for people they don't even know in their community is just inspiring and an amazing thing. I do not have the bravery to go out there and take a bullet for someone I don't even know," Zechariah said.

Carrying a flag, he runs 1 mile at a time and said he takes a moment to reflect on the brave officers.

"I think I have about 130 officers left for 2018, sadly. I have covered all the officers who have passed away in 2019 so far. Hopefully there is no more," Zechariah said.

Zechariah was recognized by Florida Gov. Rick DeSantis, who awarded him the state's first-ever Back the Blue Award.

"I'm just really happy, but at the same time, I'm sad because of how many officers have passed away so far," Zechariah said.

For more information about Zechariah and to follow his journey as he honors fallen officers, visit his Running for Heroes Facebook page.

He has already raised a little more than $6,000 for the Tunnel to Towers Foundation.

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