I was not born when WWII happened, so I have no direct knowledge of it. What I have is from books, movies, the talk of relatives, and the civics class lessons on it. All war is horrible to those that experience it. At the same time, it presents opportunities to change the way things are and have always been.
This war is no different. Black men proved over and over that they were not lazy cowards, but could soar with the eagles. Women proved they could work outside the home and manage things men never believed possible. When those men came home, things may have gone back to the old way on the surface, but the knowledge that there was another way could not be erased.
That knowledge grew, and eventually birthed the civil rights movement and the feminist movement. Change continues. People who have been disenfranchised are gaining their rights back, or, in some cases, for the first time. The forward movement is not always smooth -- indeed, it rarely is. But forward we move.
Wars stir the pot. For good or ill they introduce us to new ideas and new ways of doing things. We must work hard to prevent war, to only fight when there is no other choice. When we must fight, however, we need to take advantage of the opportunity to advance out society by incorporating new ideas. Or surely those who die have died in vain.