LDS missionary injured in explosion spreads message of peace 1 year after Brussels attack

Posted at 9:31 PM, Mar 22, 2017
and last updated 2017-03-22 23:32:01-04

LEHI, Utah -- Wednesday marked one year since an explosion ripped through the Brussels airport in Belgium, killing 31 people and injuring many more. Among the injured were three LDS missionaries from Utah.

"I don't know if I want to look at it as a horrific moment, I want to look at it as a saving moment," said Richard Norby.

Norby was serving as a senior missionary when the attack occurred, and he has multiple shrapnel wounds and suffered burns over 35 percent of his body.

At the one year anniversary, he gathered with other families impacted by the terrorist attack. In front of his son's home in Lehi, a small group sent balloons in the national colors of Belgium into the sky with messages of peace.

"I think our concern is that they have hope in their life," Norby said.

At Norby's side was Chad Wells. His son, Mason Wells, was with Norby in Brussels.

"He was in the Delta Check-in line about 20 feet from the bomb crater," Wells said.

A year later, after undergoing nine surgeries for burn and shrapnel injuries, he says his son is doing well, currently working as an intern for Congressman Jason Chaffetz in Washington D.C.

"We just celebrate life, celebrate survivorship and peace, and our message is a message of peace and hope for the world," Wells said.

He also spoke about the third Utahn who was injured, Joseph 'Dres' Empey.

"Dres is doing fantastic, and he's working with his father in his business and he's actually interested in becoming a paramedic after his experiences in Brussels," Wells said.

Norby said as horrific as the attack was, it has been an important part of the healing to look forward with a sense of peace and love for the world, especially Belgium.

"We love Brussels," Norby said. "We love the Belgian people. There was one or two or three individuals that really had no significance in our lives at all that caused havoc in the airport, but they have zero significance in our lives."

The Norby family has setup a Facebook page 'Love for Brussels' to help spread their message of peace.