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Local survivor of Brussels attacks returns home, reunites with family

Posted April 11

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— When bombs exploded inside the Brussels airport on March 22, Marc Noel took cover beneath a cash register in a nearby airport shop. He escaped the blasts unharmed.

"I didn't sleep at all that night after a trauma like that," he said Monday.

Noel, a Belgium native who founded plastics manufacturer Nomaco and some affiliated companies in Zebulon, said he was buying a magazine in an airport shop while waiting for his flight to Atlanta when the first bomb went off nearby.

He later drove to Germany and was able to fly home to be reunited with his wife, children and grandchildren. Noel said this homecoming however, was dramatically different.

"I didn't think there was going to be a homecoming," he said.

Since the deadly attacks that killed 32 people and injured hundreds more, Noel has had time to reflect.

"The first week, 10 days, were much more difficult. There were some emotional bursts that came up because everything comes back," he said. "I really think I’m back to almost normal with regard to the emotions. I’m able to write about it. I’m now putting a journal together about what has happened."

He said the experience has given him a new perspective.

"You ask yourself, is the life you are leading, the way you lead it, the right way," he said.

Most importantly, Noel said he believes tragedies like the bombings at the airport and a popular Brussels subway station need to be stopped.

"We globally have a major responsibility as truly the only superpower in the world to lead this effort," he said.

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