Stunned Americans have seen the horror of the Boston attacks over and over on their televisions, tablets, computers and smartphones. In the moments following the two explosions, the videos show countless bystanders rushing toward, not away, from the scene of destruction to help.
One of the starkest images in the aftermath of the carnage was of a bystander with long hair and a cowboy hat giving aid to the aid of the wounded. In the photo above, he is seen helping save a badly-wounded man who has lost his legs.
That man has been identified as Carlos Arredondo, an immigrant from Costa Rica whose son was killed in action in 2004 in Iraq. Arredondo was near the finish line to cheer on a friend who was running in honor of Arredondo’s son, a Marine killed in the line of duty.
After helping the wounded, a badly-shaken Arredondo spoke on camera, showing a blood-stained American flag he clutched through the ordeal. Before the blast, he had been handing the small flags to National Guardsmen who were completing the marathon.
In the video of the explosion, Arredondo can be seen at the 2:00 minute mark helping to lift debris off victims on the sidewalk:
The actions of Arredondo and others who ran into the destruction reminded me of a quote from Fred Rogers ('Mr. Rogers') which went viral following the Sandy Hook massare: “When I was a boy and I would see scary things in the news, my mother would say to me, "Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping.”