An 11-year-old, world record-holding runner set out from the Pasadena Police Department before the break of dawn Saturday on a 9-mile trek to personally thank officers at five area police agencies for their service.
Jordan Ramirez of La Puente presented Pasadena police commanders with a plaque before beginning his walk to the South Pasadena Police Department, then the Alhambra Police Department, the San Gabriel Police Department and the San Marino Police Department.
The young runner, who made history last year by becoming the youngest person ever to run marathons on all seven continents, is ultimately planning on taking his gratitude tour to every law enforcement agency in the San Gabriel Valley, according to his father, Dimas Ramirez. Last week, he visited the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department’s Industry Station, the West Covina Police Department, the Baldwin Park Police Department and the California Highway Patrol’s Baldwin Park-area office.
Officer lined up to offer their young supporter a salute of gratitude of their own before police vehicles escorted him along his route.
Jordan held a U.S. Air Force flag and wore his Young Marines uniform during the tribute walk, which he said was meant to thank all law enforcement officers and military members. He carries the flag of a different branch of the military each time he makes his trip.
“I’m walking in thanks for the first responders and to honor the military,” Jordan said. “I want to show them that people respect them and honor them.”
Each of Jordan’s record-breaking marathons was dedicated to fallen military service members and first responders, according to his father.
“He carried a folded flag of our nation from start to finish at every marathon,” he said. “He is excited & ready to continue to honor and thank our heroes.”
Pasadena police Lt. Anthony Russo accepted the plaque from Jordan.
“What you’re doing means so much, not just to us, but to men and women around the world,” the lieutenant said.
The plaque bore an inscription reading:
“In case you haven’t felt it today… You are appreciated.
In case you wanted to quit today… Don’t. You are needed.
In case you need to talk but feel no one will listen… There are many who will.
In case you haven’t heard it today… THANK YOU.”