THIS is beautiful

The man in the cowboy hat, Carlos Arredondo, immediately ran to the site of the first explosion at the Boston Marathon, leaping barricades to get to the injured.

He helped the man in the wheelchair shown below, Jeff, wrap tourniquets around his badly damaged legs (which have since been amputated), and didn’t leave his side until he absolutely had to.

The remarkable thing is that Carlos himself had tried to end his life in 2004 — when Marines came to his door to tell him that his son had been killed in Iraq, he barricaded himself in his car and set himself on fire. The Marines saved him. His other son, so distraught over and unable to recover from the emotional trauma of his brother’s death, eventually committed suicide. I imagine he has seen some dark hours. I can’t imagine how dark.

He spoke on NPR today with grace and humility. An awareness that if the Marines had not saved him in 2004 Jeff might not have survived on Monday.

Never mind thinness, or perfect features, or flawless skin. Never mind a perfectly honed body or shiny hair.

This man, and his heroic act, is beautiful.


The person or persons who planted the bombs, on the other hand, is the worst kind of coward.

Well, maybe not the worst — worst is someone who arms himself and shoots up a school full of children, and a Congress which refuses to act to try to prevent such a thing from happening again.

I’m almost too disheartened to write this. Am certainly too disheartened to try to make any sense of it all.

I am grateful to Carlos for his heroism, and to the paramedics who died rushing to the rescue at the fertilizer plant explosion, and to all who act in interests other than their own.

I only wish there were more of them, and many, many fewer of the cowards.

4 Responses to “THIS is beautiful”

  1. 1 sam
    April 18, 2013 at 6:18 pm

    There are. Hundreds of times as many people helped as hurt.

    • April 18, 2013 at 6:19 pm

      I know. The problem is it only takes a coward or two to wreak chaos, mayhem, and injury. The perfectly-healthy (as far as we can tell) young man went to watch the Boston Marathon and now has no legs. A beautiful 8-year old boy is killed. For what?

  2. April 19, 2013 at 12:58 am

    I just heard about the fertilizer explosion on the radio. A small passing comment only. More people were killed and a few more injured than in Boston. Hmm…
    Do “terrorists” cause terror, or is it the way the media report it? “Market” it, almost. Without the media chatter, it’s plain and simple indiscriminate murder – just a different weapon that lets the NRA off the hook for once.
    Terrorism is sudden and unexpected. (Though the IRA used to up the “terror” by giving unrealistically short warnings to cause mayhem just before the carnage of a nail-bomb in the supermarket, or whatever.)

    Can’t imagine the fertilizer plant explosion was scheduled… why do we react so differently?

    I’ll be running in Vancouver’s Sun Run on Sunday – totally secure in the fact that I am no less or more likely to die doing it than I would have been last week, or last year.

    Have a cup of tea, take a deep breath, mutter “bugger ’em” and just keep right on trucking…

  3. April 19, 2013 at 1:13 am

    It really is so very sad and disheartening. We shouldn’t even need heros like him but thank God he was there alive and well. We never know how we will be able to help someone else.

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