At Simpson College

April 2, 2014 | 10:54 pm

By Pam Gibbs: In 2001 I had just returned to college as a non-traditional student, age 41, to finish my degree.

I was leaving my first class of the day and noticed the subdued attitude of the usually active college campus. Someone I knew told me that a plane had crashed into the World Trade Center. I was thinking about the tall buildings that I had just visited for the first time the previous year.

When I got to my history class, the teacher had a small portable TV set up, and all 18 students were huddled around and watched the events unfold. It was eerie, as almost all of those in the room shared concerns for friends or family that were in New York or Washington, D.C. My stepdaughter was then living and working in NYC, so my thoughts and prayers were with her.

As the years have passed since the tragedy, I have reflected on that day and the many similar days that we as Americans have weathered since the birth of our nation. I end up feeling proud to be an American and proud of all those who came before me that ensured our freedom.

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