Winter Springs, FL – With a Thin Blue Line flag gripped firmly in his hands, a 10-year-old Florida boy has been running one mile in honor of every law enforcement officer killed in the line of duty.
"This war against police somehow is not going to peace…it just keeps going on,” he said. “This violence needs to stop because they go home to husbands, wives, children every day, and then if they can't see them anymore, then that's just going to break their hearts."
The well-spoken boy paused for a silent prayer, then set out on his mile-long, nighttime trek through the neighborhood.
"Our son is an avid runner and is running a mile this year for every fallen officer in both 2018 and 2019," Zechariah's father, Chad Cartledge, told WKRG. "Sadly, he has many miles to run, but he wanted to do this as his way of paying his respects."
Zechariah posts a video of each of his runs to his Facebook page, and is currently working to raise $15,000 for the Tunnel to Towers Foundation.
Tunnel to Towers was established in honor of New York Firefighter Stephen Siller, who was killed during the Sep. 11, 2001 terrorist attack in New York City.
Through Tunnel to Towers, Stephen’s family has assisted the families of many first responders who left young children behind when they died in the line of duty by paying of their mortgages.
On Monday night, Zechariah will set off with his flag again to honor the sacrifice of Comal County Sheriff’s Office Deputy Ray Horn.
It will be the ninth mile he has ran in for a fallen officer in 2019.