Carlos Arredondo is being hailed as a hero for his quick work after the Boston Marathon explosions in digging through debris to help those injured in the bombing.
A 51-year-old peace activist, Arredondo is featured in many of the photographs of the bombing as he pulls away debris. His cowboy hat and long dark hair make him stand out in many of the videos from blast zone, which show him hurriedly pulling aside wreckage so victims could be pulled out.
In one of the most iconic photographs of the tragic event, Carlos Arredondo is seen walking alongside a wheelchair carrying a victim who lost both of his legs. Arredondo appears to be pinching off the man’s exposed femoral artery.
Carlos Arredondo lost his son Alexander in Iraq in 2004 and, since then, has participated in many anti-war rallies. In 2008, he pulled a mock coffin of his son as he marched with a group outside the Republican National Convention in Minnesota.
Arredondo’s other son, Brian, committed suicide in 2011 after the death of his brother sent him into a spiral of depression and drug addiction.
Arredondo legally changed his name to Alexander Brian Arredondo as a tribute to his sons. He came to the United States from Costa Rica and became an American citizen in 2006.
Carlos was attending the event to support a runner who was dedicating the race to his son Alexander. When the blast happened, Carlos and another man he was with sprinted across the street to where the explosion occurred.
The scene was captured on video, and Carlos Arredondo can be seen at roughly the 1:50 mark, wearing his cowboy hat and pulling apart a metal fence to free survivors trapped beneath:
In the evening on Monday, many Twitter users expressed gratitude to Carlos Arredondo as he become the most visible of the hundreds of heroes to emerge from the Boston Marathon explosions.