A Heart, a Cross, and a Flag

A Heart, a Cross, and a Flag

America Today

On the morning of the attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon, Wall Street Journal columnist Peggy Noonan sat down to write -- and produced at least one essay every week through September 11, 2002. The candid and sometimes heart-wrenching pieces collected here are full of insights and observations on how the events influenced our perceptions of what it means to be a New Yorker, an American, a patriot. By training our gaze on everyone from firemen, the President, and Catholic and Muslim mourners to news anchors, bus drivers, and school kids, these essays depict America in all its beauty, diversity, and strength. With a sharp but compassionate eye, Noonan balances the immediacy of the tragedy with its broader meaning for our world.
At once outraged and tender, street smart and down-home wise, A Heart, a Cross, and a Flag is a first draft of history and an apt tribute to everything we lost and learned.
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  • Free Press | 
  • 288 pages | 
  • ISBN 9780743250481 | 
  • September 2004
List Price $19.95
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Read an Excerpt

Chapter One

What I Saw at the Devastation

Thursday, September 13, 2001

This, for me, is the unforgettable image of the day: the fine gray ash that covered everything downtown, all the people and buildings and cars; the ash that flew into the air in the explosions and the burning and that settled over half the city. It was just like Pompeii, which also was taken by surprise and also was left covered top to bottom with ash, fine gray ash.

This is what everyone in New York says, sooner or later, when they talk about what happened: "It was such a beautiful day. It was the most beautiful day of the year." It was.... see more

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