Fla. boy runs for fallen first responders, pays tribute to Arvada Officer Gordon Beesley
ARVADA, Colo. (Gray News) - A 12-year-old boy from Florida weathered the rain in Colorado Wednesday to run a mile in tribute to fallen Arvada Police Officer Gordon Beesley.
Beesley was one of three people killed in a shooting at a suburban Denver shopping district Monday.
Arvada Police Chief Link Strate said the suspect expressed hatred toward police and Beesley was targeted because he was in uniform.
Carrying a Blue Line flag used in honor of police officers, Zechariah Cartledge circled the track, followed by a cruiser from the Simla County Sheriff’s Office with its blue lights and siren on.
During his final laps, you can hear “Amazing Grace” playing in the background to honor Beesley.
After talking to several people who knew Beesley well, Cartledge says he sounds like the “real definition of a hero and an officer.”
“He was a great family man with his wife and two children. And he made lots of friends a protected a lot of people at the Oberon Middle school,” Cartledge said. “He was so dedicated towards serving that after summer break and after school was over he was assigned to patrol and started doing traffic for the Arvada Police Department. [He was] a true hero, one who looked in the eye of fear and went to any call he was assigned to – I’ll never forget him.”
The Beesley family will receive the flag used during the tribute run, as well as a handwritten note.
Cartledge has run a total of 162 miles so far in 2021 in honor of fallen first responders as part of his Running 4 Heroes.
He founded the non-profit organization at the age of 10 with a mission to raise money for injured first responders while paying tribute to fallen heroes through running. Cartledge runs one mile for every first responder who makes the ultimate sacrifice in the line of duty.
“These families sacrifice more than we will ever know. If I can bring even a little joy back into their lives, it is worth it all. They are the reason I run,” Cartledge wrote on his website dedicated to the cause.
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