An award for civilian bravery, handed out at the Massachusetts State House every year on 9/11, went this year to Carlos Arredondo, who helped save a spectator who was severely wounded in the Boston marathon bombings.
Arredondo accepted the award wearing a button with pictures of his two children. His older son Alex was killed in Iraq, and then, his younger son Brian committed suicide.
“I accept this award on behalf of everyone who had their children die by wars, by violence on the street, by suicide, illness and terrorists," Arredondo said. "There are days when a person doesn’t want to get up after the death of a loved one. Many of them. But somehow I made it to the marathon that day myself.”
When the first explosion happened, Arredondo ripped away the fence separating him from the victims.
“In the past I had been a volunteer fireman back in my country," he said. "But at the same time, I started being a rodeo clown. So as a rodeo clown, you have to be quick and the adrenaline, real fast, and that’s pretty much what happened at the Boston Marathon.”
Arredondo saw a young man with parts of both legs blown off and his shirt on fire. Arredondo used his hand to put out the flames, tied a tourniquet around the victim’s leg and stayed with him until emergency workers arrived.
Jeff Bauman, 27, had a double amputation, and helped the FBI identify one of the suspects. Bauman was in the first row at the awards ceremony.