An EMT. A volunteer. A spectator in a cowboy hat.
Moments after bombs exploded at the Boston Marathon, these three helped rescue a man whose legs were blown off, a scene captured in an Associated Press photo. That man, Jeff Bauman, was lauded as a hero himself when he gave authorities a description that helped them track down two suspects.
A year later, the AP revisited the lives of the four people in the image.
Mitchell has been a Boston EMT for five years. Like the others in the photo, he refuses to take credit for saving Bauman’s life.
“I think a lot of things went into Jeff being alive today, not to mention the will of this guy. I met him once or twice. He’s got the attitude. The positive spirit.”
Looking at the photo reminds him to “live life to the fullest.”
“Two of those people in that picture, not me, don’t have any training, don’t have any obligation to run in there – and they did.”
Wang is an aspiring athletic trainer, a senior at Boston University and a world-class synchronized skater. That day, she was a race volunteer.
“I think instinct kicked in, knowing that there were spectators in that general area, not knowing if there’s going to be another explosion, not knowing what I was going to see once I got there,” Wang told ESPN. “I felt like I did not do as much as so many other people, yet I was getting all the credit for being that hero.”
In his native Costa Rica, Arredondo was a rodeo clown, helping get fallen riders out of the way of angry bulls.
“Years of doing that kind of adrenaline, you’re rushing in and out, running up and out to get people out of there. … In a way I was training myself for the Boston Marathon.”
He was passing out American flags on the race sidelines and ran to Bauman after the blasts.
“I thought, ‘How am I going to get him out of here?”’
“And then I saw this miracle woman coming with a wheelchair,” Arredondo recalled. “And it saved his life.”
Bauman, who wrote a book about his experience, says he has mixed feelings about the photo.
“I never look at it. I can’t. I Googled myself once, and I looked at it and I was like, I can’t look at that. That just brings me right back to me laying on the ground.”
But Bauman says it sums up the good that happened that day.
“I thought that was amazing that they helped save my life like that. … Everyone was just trying to help me, help us, you know. Help the people that were hurt.”