Boston bombing: An update on the people in the iconic images

04/16/2013 5:54 PM

05/20/2014 10:42 AM

The Boston Marathon blasts produced haunting, unforgettable images of victims and bystanders who rushed to help those around them. Here is an update on some of those victims and first responders.


Young blast victim loses both legs

By The Associated Press

An emergency responder and volunteers, including Carlos Arredondo in the cowboy hat, push
BOSTON — The father of a man who was photographed being pushed away from the Boston Marathon bombing in a wheelchair says his son has had both legs amputated. Jeff Bauman says his son, 27-year-old Jeff Bauman Jr., is the man in an Associated Press photo taken shortly after the bombing. His father says on his Facebook page that his son had to have both lower limbs removed at Boston Medical Center because of extensive vascular and bone damage. He says his son also had to have another surgery because of fluid in his abdomen. Bauman says his son was there to watch his girlfriend run. She was not hurt. He says his son was in the wrong place at the wrong time. (Editor's note: A Facebook page has been set up to help Bauman: Jeff Bauman Jr. Support Page- Boston Victim. There is a post asking for donations to a fund through www.gofundme.com. The latest update reports he is in stable condition and doing better after a second surgery to treat the fluid buildup in his abdomen. The New York Times provides a complete story of the Bauman family here.)

The man in the cowboy hat: Marathon
hero has known pain of loss

By Julie K. Brown, Miami Herald One of the most searing and iconic images of Monday’s bomb blasts in Boston is a long-haired man wearing a cowboy hat, comforting a traumatized victim who appeared to have lost his legs in one of the explosions. The man in the hat is named Carlos Arredondo, and he is being heralded as a hero who, ironically has spent most of the last decade grieving over his own son’s death serving our country in the fight against terrorism. Alex Arredondo, 20, was killed in Iraq in 2004. When the military team arrived at Arredondo’s home in Hollywood to deliver the news, the Costa Rica native, devastated, torched the military van with a can of gasoline. He was hospitalized for months with second-degree burns. The incident made national headlines, and spurred a debate over whether he should be charged with a crime. (He wasn’t.) He recovered and became a peace activist and grieved publicly over the loss of his son by displaying makeshift memorials, a mobile flag-draped coffin bearing the uniform, dog tags, and Purple Heart of his son. “As long as there are Marines fighting and dying in Iraq, I’m going to share my mourning with the American people,” he told The New York Times six years ago. In the years since, Arredondo, now 52, continued working as a peace activist, traveling around the country, organizing protests and supporting other activists’ efforts to end war. Originally from New England, he returned to the Boston area to be closer to his 24-year-old son Brian, who was despondent over the loss of his brother. In December 2011, Brian Arredondo committed suicide. That same year, a post office in Jamaica Plain, Mass. was named in honor of Alex Arredondo, who grew up nearby. Before enlisting in the Marines out of high school, he had moved to Hollywood to live with his father. Arredondo was at the Boston Marathon cheering for a friend who was running in his sons’ memory. He was just steps away from where the first bomb exploded, witnessing much of the carnage. His actions mirrored his own son’s heroism as Arredondo grabbed a wheelchair and began pushing a victim toward ambulances, while holding the man’s bleeding leg. “I kept talking to him. I kept saying, ‘Stay with me, stay with me,’ ”a trembling Arredondo told The Portland Press Herald afterward. (Editor's note: The Washington Post provides another story about Arredondo here.)

The 78-year-old runner knocked down by the blast

By The Associated Press
Police draw their guns as the first explosion occurs, runner Bill Iffrig falls to the ground. (AP Photo/The Boston Globe, John Tlumacki)
A 78-year-old Washington state man running his third Boston Marathon was near the finish line when he was knocked down by one of two bomb blasts and caught in a news photograph that quickly went viral.
Bill Iffrig is helped to his feet by a race official after falling to the ground when the first explosion occurred. The flames from the second explosion can be seen in the background of the photo. (AP Photo/The Boston Globe, John Tlumacki)
Bill Iffrig, of Lake Stevens, told The Herald of Everett that he heard a noise Monday and found himself on the ground. "It was only 5 feet away from me," he said. "It was really loud." He said he ended up with a scrape on his knee, and that a race official helped him to his feet. Iffrig said most of the other runners near the area weren't as close to the explosion as he was. He walked across the finish line and another half-mile to his hotel. Iffrig said of his proximity to the explosion that it was a "close one" and the experience "scared" him. The runner's son, Mark Iffrig, of Seattle, told The Associated Press he was tracking his father's race progress online and didn't realize what had happened until he went on Facebook to post about his dad finishing the race. He quickly turned on the TV and called his dad. "It's horrible. He said it was quite a concussive blast. He was a little dazed. Someone helped him up," said Mark Iffrig , adding he recognized his father from a widely distributed Boston Globe photo showing him on the ground, surrounded by police officers and race officials. "He was only about 10 feet from the finish line." Iffrig said his father is an avid runner who has raced in a number of marathons. "He's a hell of a runner," he said. "He's run a lot and he's fast."

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