I have never considered myself overly jingoistic, and I am certainly comfortable criticizing the U.S. when I think it is appropriate, but I have always felt a surge of emotion any time I have seen this picture.
Sometimes it is difficult not to be overcome with frustration and anger at the direction this country has taken in the last seven years. I think about how scary it was to be an American on September 11, but how comforting it was to be an American on September 12. And I still struggle to come to terms with the outpouring of national pride and international goodwill that were squandered in such a short time.
But that's not really something I want to think about today. The U.S. is far from perfect, but I still like to think (even despite occasional doubt) that we are the one of the best imperfect societies around.