Recognizing that the World War II fight was a massive struggle with no guarantee that the Allied Powers would come out on top, a popular song of the time had these lyrics included: "Praise the Lord and pass the ammunition. Praise the Lord we ain't a goin' fishin'. Praise the Lord and pass the ammunition and we'll all be free." If we celebrate that generation and forget that they realized they needed God's help in order to prevail, we do them a disservice. Periodically we are so challenged that we turn to God again as our ultimate recourse in times of serious challenge. What about now?
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Posted as "Best Answer" so far. There is, however, a cycle of the faithful becoming more faithful in hard times, falling from that level of faithfulness as prosperity lulls, and increasing again in faithfulness when they get over thinking only "me."
Thank you, Perspycacious. I agree. I also think that people have become more self-centered, but I think people rallied after 9-11 because that was an attack on our country and on religious freedom.
Yes, the plain, good, old caring people did it because they didn't want to be speaking German or Japanese in the future, and they didn't want a Hitler-type rule over them. Americans had our own culture and didn't want to give it up to tyrants.
To clarify, my own answer wasn't just about Americans - but that generation. I don't think, though, that all is the same in the US as it was back then.
A surge in church attendance right after 9/11, and a trickle in church avoidance now, may make the point that we want God only when we recognize we need Him.