From the chaos of the Boston aftermath, one face in the crown is already emerging as a hero to offer hope to America.
Carlos Arredondo had already been in the news in 2004 when - upon hearing of his soldier son's death in Iraq - he locked himself in a van with five gallons of gasoline and a propane torch, and set the van on fire.
The Costa Rican immigrant survived, became a peace activist and was at the marathon supporting a group of runners who had dedicated their race to fallen soldiers.
When the bomb went off yesterday, he was seen in his stetson hat climbing among the wreckage and later helping speed a wounded victim to an ambulance in a wheelchair.
Afterwards the 52-year-old told a reporter for NECN news: "My instinct was to run across by the flags and start picking up people and bringing them to the emergency room.
In one graphic image, he is seen helping a victim, his legs severed, into the back of an ambulance.
"My instinct was to go and help and see what I can do, and let's just pray for the injured."