Seeing all the pictures of ships and other Naval props, (the clock on FDR's desk), I'm guessing might be to bring to mind the attack on Pearl Harbor and why we're at war, in the first place. Of course, the White House butler mentioning he saw the show that introduced the song Grand Old Flag and how it was still a great song so many years later shows a major mention of Patriotism. I grew up watching this film, and it took me years to realize what was meant when the stage manager told Jerry Cohan to change or else he might be ripped to shreds. It was July 4th! America's Birthday, not Ireland. Though having Jerry put a mini flag in his baby boy's fist was wonderful to support Irish Americans. My feeling on the opening was that the director wanted people to see that this was a present day film, but with memories and reminiscing on how George grew up proud to be an American. If he started it out with the 4th of July parade and George's birth, it might just be seen only as a biography picture.