Former New England Patriots offensive lineman Joe Andruzzi was at the finish line of the Boston Marathon Monday and helped carry a woman to safety.
The Patriots tweeted a photo of Andruzzi, who played on New England's three Super Bowl championship teams, in action at the scene of the explosions.
Andruzzi's charitable foundation, which had participants running in the race, was hosting an event on Boylston Street, close to the Boston Marathon bombing.
Andruzzi and his wife Jen were near the finish line at the time of the first of two explosions, greeting runners. He later released a statement saying:
"Marathon Monday should be about uplifting stories, personal challenges and fundraising milestones, but today's bombings irrevocably changed that."
"While I appreciate the interest in hearing our perspective on today's horrific events, the spotlight should remain firmly on the countless individuals - first responders, medics, EMTs, runners who crossed the finish line and kept on running straight to give blood, and the countless civilians who did whatever they could to save lives."
"They were the true heroes. Our thoughts and prayers go out to all those affected by this senseless tragedy."
Earlier, Andruzzi had tweeted: "Jen and I are safe. & Our thoughts & prayers are with all the victims and their families impacted at today's Boston Marathon."
"TY to all our emergency personnel."
Andruzzi played for the Patriots from 2000-04. His three brothers are all New York City firefighters who were involved in the 9/11/01 terrorist attacks.
Joe's statement comes as a reminder to thank those involved not only in responding to this tragedy, but who protect people each and every day.
As Patton Oswalt's Facebook post also said earlier, we live in a society where countless people still run toward an explosion, not away from one.
And what a wonderful thing that is.