Tasneem Raja of Mother Jones has the story of one of the heroes of the finish line. Carlos Arredondo–the man with the cowboy hat–lived a life scarred by violence and anguish, event before the bombs went off. :
One of Monday’s most gripping—and graphic—images was a picture of a young man who appears to have lost both of his legs, being frantically wheeled to an ambulance by responders. On Twitter, there’s been a lot of discussion about the ethics of running the picture without blurring the young man’s face, as the Atlantic did for over an hour on its site before altering the image. The Washington Post chose to crop the image so the victim’s legs are visible only above the knee.
One of the responders in the photograph—the man in the cowboy hat—has been identified as Carlos Arredondo, a Costa Rican immigrant whose Marine son died in action in Iraq in 2004. The day he learned of his son’s death, Arredondo ?locked himself in a van with five gallons of gasoline and a propane torch and set the van on fire. He survived, became a peace activist, and was among the spectators who rushed toward the fumes after the explosion today. After tying a tourniquet onto the young man’s legs and wheeling him past the finish line to emergency help, Arredondo, seen badly shaken and trembling in this video, gripping a small American flag drenched in blood, talks to some bystanders on the street about the explosion