SALT LAKE CITY (ABC4) – This weekend marks the 10-year anniversary of the Boston Marathon bombing, and Utah native Mason Wells, a survivor of two terrorist attacks, said it’s a day he’s “never going to forget.” 

Wells’ mother was running in the race that year, and he and his father were there to cheer her on.

“We kind of made our way down the street when we heard the first of two enormous explosions,” Wells said.

Around 3 o’clock that afternoon, two bombs went off near the finish line. The explosion killed three, leaving hundreds injured. 

“I saw the initial emergency vehicles arriving, I saw ambulances, police cars screaming down the road to try and get to a mass of people,” he said. “That’s when we knew that this was very abnormal. This wasn’t just a generator blowing up, it wasn’t just some part of the course collapsing, it was an attack.”

Drew and his parents survived the attack with no physical injuries. Mentally, they say, was a different story.

“It definitely left emotional trauma that we had to work through,” said Wells. “As someone who’s actually witnessed two terrorist attacks, I think that you have to come at this from the viewpoint of a survivor. I’m a survivor, not a victim.” 

In addition to the Boston Marathon bombing, Wells experienced another terrorist attack three years later in 2016. Mason was serving as a missionary for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. He was at the Brussels, Belgium airport when, for the second time in his life, bombs went off. This time, he was severely injured. 

“I remember sitting on a hospital bed after Brussels being injured thinking, ‘Wow, how could I ever get back to normal health,’” Wells said. 

 After talking it through with his parents and siblings, Wells chose to use it as a learning experience. 

“Yes, anything bad can happen to me but that also means that I can overcome anything that happens to me,” he said. “I can be the type of person that can get past the emotional trauma of two attacks.”

Looking forward, he says it’s an experience that taught him to move forward. 

“There’s a lot of terrible people out there that do wish to do us harm but I think that for every bad person out there, there’s 10 good people,” said Wells. “At the end of the day, we can choose to allow things to change our lives or we can change our own lives after bad things happen to us. It’s up to us whatever we’re going to make from the situation.”

Now, ten years later, Wells is married and living in Texas with his wife. He’s training to be a pilot in the US Navy. 

Wells’ mother is planning on racing in the Boston Marathon this year for the third time.