Peace activist Carlos Arredondo has come to be known as "the man in the hat" and widely described as a hero for a viral image of him in a cowboy hat pinching the severed artery of a bloodied, wheelchair-bound victim in the aftermath of the Boston Marathon bombings. Arredondo is no stranger to tragedy: He became a prominent opponent of the Iraq War after his son, Lance Cpl. Alexander Arredondo, was killed in Iraq in 2004. His surviving son, Brian, committed suicide in 2011. Carlos and his wife Mélida, join DemocracyNow! to describe witnessing the Boston Marathon bombings and the immediate response to aid the victims.
"I just concentrate in removing the fence to help everybody coming to the scene. And then I concentrate on a young man who lost both of the limbs. I ripped up a T-shirt, and another gentleman helped me out, and we put this tourniquet on the legs. And then the first wheelchair that arrived, you know, I picked him up and put him in the wheelchair, and I dragged him out of there, because only I can do at the time."
When Marines came to Carlos Arredondo’s home in 2004 to inform him that his son had been killed in Iraq, he destroyed their van in a frenzy and accidentally set it, as well as himself, on fire, burning 30% of his body. After his recovery, Carlos Arredondo began his mission of peace by heading to Washington D.C. to join protesters at "Camp Democracy."