Anorak News | Boston Marathon Bombings: Carlos Arredondo is the illegal immigrant who was there to help

Boston Marathon Bombings: Carlos Arredondo is the illegal immigrant who was there to help

by | 16th, April 2013

Boston Marathon Explosions

THE grimmest photograph to emerge from the Boston Marathon bombing is of a man with his leg missing, the white bone protruding through shards of loose skin where once a foot was. The man is in a wheelchair. His face is grey. To his side are a male medic. Behind him a woman pushes the chair. Touching the victim is a man called Carlos Arredondo. (The image is above. It’s been cropped.)

Mr Arredondo tells the man: “Stay with me, stay with me.”

Nine years ago, Mr Arredondo tried to kill himself. He sat in a van, poured petrol over his body and lit the propane torch. Then he set himself on fire.

His son, US Marine Lance Cpl. Alexander S. Arredondo, 20, was killed in Najaf, Afghanistan, in August, 2004.  Mr Arredondo, 52, is a former illegal immigrant from Costa Rica. When his son died, the US granted him US citizenship. But back then, it wasn’t enough. On the day he learned of his son’s death, Mr Arredondo wanted to end it all.

It took him  year to recover from his burns. He dedicated his life to peace, driving around the US in a truck festooned with his son’s face. In the back, he kept a coffin containing some of his son’s things:

“This is my whole world,” he said, facing the truck, his arms open wide. “This is my burden.”

He was at the Boston marathon supporting former servicemen running in memory of fallen US soldiers.

“I just concentrated on that young man, tied up his legs and talked to him. He was conscious. I let him know the ambulance was on the way, that he’s OK. Stay with me, stay with me. There were so many people. A young lady next to me begging me for help, begging me for help, but I only can help one man at a time. I just helped that young man. He told me the name — I forgot the name.”

Posted: 16th, April 2013 | In: Reviews Comment (1) | TrackBack | Permalink