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Florida boy runs mile to honor Deputy Luke Gross

12-year-old Zechariah Cartledge runs one mile to honor every first responder who lost their lives in the line of duty

MAINE, USA — A boy from Florida is the latest honor fallen Hancock County Sheriff's Deputy Luke Gross, who died Thursday after he was hit by a vehicle on Route 3 in Trenton. 

Zechariah Cartledge runs one mile in honor of each first responder who dies in the line of duty in the United States. 

"We hope that the run itself can let the families heal," Cartledge said. 

Cartledge has been running to honor fallen first responders since 2019, and has founded the non-profit 'Running 4 Heroes.' He has now run more than 1,000 miles for the cause. With each run, he carries a thin blue line flag, which is then mailed to the victims' families.

On Monday night, Cartledge ran the mile to honor Deputy Gross. In a video shared on his nonprofit's Facebook page, Cartledge shared information on Deputy Gross, before running the mile. He was accompanied by two others running, along with local Florida police officers which followed him in a cruiser throughout the process. There was also an officer playing bagpipes.

"Definitely in my mind, I'm thinking about him or her, the sacrifice they made while serving. Just like yesterday, I was thinking about Deputy Gross's sacrifice he made during his 20 years of service. The family he left behind, his wife, his son, his daughter. And I just hope that with our run can help them heal," the 7th grader from Winter Springs, Florida, said. 

Tonight, Zechariah ran to honor a hero from Maine, Deputy Gross. As part of this mission, we seek to honor our men and...

Posted by Running 4 Heroes Inc. on Monday, September 27, 2021

Cartledge ran a mile back in 2019 to honor fallen Maine State Police Detective Ben Campbell. 

RELATED: Florida boy runs in honor of Maine State Police detective Ben Campbell

"Even though I'm 12-years-old, I can make a big difference in someone's life," Cartledge said.

Honoring fallen Hancock County Sheriff's Dept. Deputy Luke Ryan Gross with a 1-mile run carrying the Blue Line Flag

Posted by Running 4 Heroes Inc. on Monday, September 27, 2021