Carlos Arredondo, the man in the hat at the Boston Marathon, didn’t set out to be hero

It’s an iconic image that captures a moment when one Boston Marathon bystander became much more.

With blood-soaked hands and wearing a cowboy hat, Carlos Arredondo helps rush a young man in a wheelchair to safety after explosions turned Monday’s race into a disaster scene.

He appears to be pinching closed a severed artery protruding from the victim’s thigh, stanching the flow of blood from a torn and shattered leg.

“I kept talking to him. I kept saying, ‘Stay with me, stay with me,'” Arredondo told the Portland, Maine, Press Herald.

Carlos Arredondo displays a blood-soaked flag. He had been handing them out when explosions ripped through areas near the finish line of the Boston Marathon on Monday.

Another frequently-published photo shows him afterward, carrying an American flag soaked in blood.

Arredondo had been at the race to support a group running for fallen veterans, one of them his son, according to the Maine newspaper, which described him charging in to help the wounded after the explosions.

Afterward, he was shaking, sometimes violently, as he told bystanders what had happened.

Arredondo didn’t set out to become a heroic figure – or a tragic one, for that matter.

Read the rest of the story here.

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