Few people in the Western world get the very unpleasant (and thankfully rare) experience of being present during a terrorist attack. Fewer still experience it twice. And then there’s Mason Wells.
Wells was with his father Chad at the end of the Boston Marathon in 2013, waiting for his mother to finish the run. They were a block away from the pressure cookers when the makeshift bombs exploded, spraying shrapnel that killed three people and injured hundreds.
As the family returned to Utah and tried to work through the experience of Boston, Mason went on his religious mission, going to Europe to talk to people about the Mormon religion. Specifically, going to the area just outside of Paris, France… when the Paris attacks of 2015 occurred, leaving 130 dead and another 413 wounded in various places around the city.
Once again Mason was unharmed. That streak would be broken a few months later when Mason was at the airport… in Brussels, on March 22.
In Mason’s words, he was only about thirty feet away from the first bomb detonation… but here, you can hear him describe it.
Three incidents of Islamic terror over the course of four years, all with large death tolls. But he focuses on the positive, in his new position as a Naval Academy midshipman.
After all, he has a good reason not to paint with a broad brush; his personal experience. From the Salt Lake City Tribune:
…bloodied and stumbling out of the Islamic State group-directed carnage inside the Zaventem airport and collapsing onto a sidewalk, the 19-year-old Mormon missionary from Sandy found himself being cared for by a young Middle Eastern woman.
Wells writes that while panic-stricken, scarred survivors streamed away from the airport, this woman deliberately walked toward the danger and into the hellish aftermath.
“Though distraught, the look on her face was one of peace,” Wells writes. “She had the look of an angel, displaying a quiet calm in the storm that made me feel that somehow everything would be OK.”
As Isabel sought to comfort Wells, he talked about his Mormon background and duties. She then revealed to him that she was Muslim.
Question of the night: Have you survived any dangerous experiences?