Americans and people around the world experienced the shattering terror of the Boston Marathon bombings together on Monday through digital and social media. Since then heroes have emerged — often ordinary people who rose to extraordinary acts of courage. A shaken nation has responded with an outpouring of gratitude and respect, holding them up on social media. Here are a few of them:
Carlos Arredondo, the cowboy hat hero
The peace activist was waiting at the Boston Marathon finish line for runners who were racing on behalf of fallen soldiers — such as his son. (Arredondo’s other son killed himself at 24.) When the blast went off across the street, he ran to help injured spectators, including a man whose legs were blown off. Arredondo can be seen, wearing a cowboy hat, in a photo, apparently holding the man’s severed artery, NBC News reports. Bystanders say he jumped into the fear and chaos Monday and immediately began helping people. On Twitter, Arredondo is one of the nation’s most saluted people.
Joe Andruzzi, retired NFL player carried injured to safety
Andruzzi, whose three brothers are NYC firefighters, lifted an injured woman and carried her to safety after the blasts. A three-time Super Bowl Champion for the hometown Patriots, Andruzzi insisted he did nothing unusual and shifted praise to the early responders. “They were the true heroes,” he said in a statement.
Little Martin Richard, killed at 8, but leaving a lasting image of peace
One of the saddest stories of the Boston bombings resurfaced today on social media with a stunning image of hope. Martin Richard, age 8, was killed Monday as his mother and two siblings stood with him near the finish line. Today a friend of his teacher’s posted a remarkable photo of the boy on Facebook holding up a hand-lettered sign urging peace. The photo of the smiling boy has been shared tens of thousands of times on Facebook. His moving call for an end to violence has inspired awe across the world.
Eight-year-old Martin Richard stands holding a hand-written sign reading “No more hurting people. Peace.”
Dr.Chris Rupe, the surgeon who ran from race to medical tent
Rupe, a Kansas surgeon, ran in the race and had just finished when the blasts rang out. He went to the medical tent, where his training was much-appreciated by personnel more accustomed to treating dehydration. “I’d just run 26 miles; I was starting to get tired,” Rupe was quoted as saying. “There were a lot of great people who were there — there are a lot of good people in the world.”
Bill Iffrig, the runner on the ground in an iconic photo
Iffrig is down on the street in perhaps the day’s most iconic photo, taken by John Tlumacki of The Boston Globe. He was so close to the blast that it blew him off his feet. “It was only 5 feet away from me,” he said. “It was really loud.” But he got up, and finished his third Boston Marathon, inspiring runners everywhere. Iffrig is 78.
Photo by John Tlumacki of The Boston Globe
Many more heroes
As stories emerge, more heroes are held up for their courage and kindness on a long and brutal day. Know of more Boston heroes? Tell us and leave a link in the comments below.