Patriotism is a growing concern in our nation today. The flowering of a rightly ordered patriotism is therefore wider than one's own fatherland alone and seeks relations of that land to the wider human community and world—hence the manner in which modern papal teaching emphasizes at every turn the balance between a sane nationalism and a humane internationalism.

This is why not all members of a nation perceive their relationship to their nation in the sense of an abstract cultural value or understand the content of this entity in the same way: in exaggerated terms, we could say that everyone has their own idea about the structure and characteristics of their nation in the sense of an abstract community and about the values of that nation.

Families gathered together for these celebrations still celebrate in the traditional ways, but there is a sense of pride, a sense of honor, a sense of the recognition that the things we hold dear like freedom, like democracy, like the pursuit of happiness, are not a given, and we just seem to hold those intangible things that define life in America a little more dear.

The moment seems ripe for a revival of contemporary liberalism, whose underlying faith is in the power and purpose of government to bring about positive change, to fight on behalf of average Americans, to even the playing field somewhat, and to reduce the ill effects of poverty.

And it seems to me that serving that part of who we are, and serving it energetically, navy and having it be the driving force in American politics, is not only a wonderful way to express patriotism, but also to ensure that our collective strength, as a people, is used for those noble global aims that you and I share.
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