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Patriotic Grace, by Peggy Noonan

Columnist and famed speechwriter Peggy Noonan was there in the words of Ronald Reagan when he remembered D-Day on the beach at Pointe Du Hoc, and the doomed space shuttle Challenger astronauts who had, he said, “slipped the surly bonds of earth” to “touch the face of God.”

Now, Noonan is looking at fierce new American challenges and the national trepidation they inspire. The sense that a familiar America is receding and something new — unnerving and unled — is taking its place.

For all the talk of change, there’s been a lot of politics as usual this year — red, blue and bloody. That comes with the territory, she says. But it’s not enough anymore. The country’s challenges are now too fundamental for cheap shots. She’s calling for grace. "Patriotic grace."

Time to pull together, she says, and quick.

This hour, On Point: Peggy Noonan on the American test ahead — and what it will take to pass.

You can join the conversation. Are we up to the challenges we face? What’s it going to take to take them on?Guest:

Peggy Noonan writes the Declarations column for The Wall Street Journal. She's the bestselling author of eight books on American culture, history, and politics. Her newest book, out this week, is "Patriotic Grace: What It Is and Why We Need It Now."

Read an excerpt from "Patriotic Grace."

This program aired on October 3, 2008.

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