SOUTH RIVER–Carrying a Thin Blue Line flag and wearing running shoes, Florida pre-teen Zechariah Cartledge ran one mile to honor South River native, U.S. Capitol Police Officer Brian D. Sicknick.
Sicknick died from wounds received in the line of duty while defending the U.S. Capitol from an attack on Jan. 6. He returned to his division office and collapsed. He was taken to a local hospital where he succumbed to his injuries at 9:30 p.m. on Jan. 7, according to a prepared statement from the U.S. Capitol Police.
At the age of 10, Zechariah’s father Chad Cartledge said Zechariah started the non-profit organization Running 4 Heroes as a way to use his love for running to pay tribute to fallen heroes.
“As his mission grew, there was an opportunity to expand and help financially support injured first responders who were injured in the line of duty,” Cartledge said. “Since becoming a [non-profit] Zechariah has provided more than $95,000 to a combined 14 first
Running since age 9, Cartledge said Zechariah, now 12, ran 401 miles in 2020, and as of Jan. 26 he has run 807 total.
With a Thin Blue Line flag in his hand, Cartledge said Zechariah ran seven laps around the track near his school, which is equal to one mile, to honor Sicknick, along with two other heroes, on Jan. 9 in the Orlando, Florida area.
After completing his run, Cartledge said they were given the contact information for Sicknick’s brother. The flag, a handwritten note from Zechariah and a Running 4 Heroes sticker were mailed directly to him.
The death of Sicknick is being investigated by the Metropolitan Police Department’s Homicide Branch, the USCP and federal partners.
Sicknick joined the USCP in July 2008 and most recently served in the department’s First Responder’s Unit.
Before joining the Capitol Police, Staff Sgt. Sicknick served with the New Jersey Air National Guard. He was a fire team member and leader with the 108th Security Force Squadron, 108th Wing, at Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst, and his six years of service included overseas deployments in support of Operation Southern Watch and Operation Enduring Freedom.
For more information about Running 4 Heroes, visit www.running4heroes.org/about-running-4-heroes/.
Contact Vashti Harris at firstname.lastname@example.org.