I was born in the US moved to Sicily and returned to the Southeast US to begin 4th grade, and eventually finish school. I don't really remember being taught in any great detail about WW2 until my junior high years (7th, 8th grade).
In those grades I was given the chance to take advanced classes, one of those being history. I continued to take advanced and some college level history classes throughout highschool. I joined the navy at 18 and was given even more lessons on the subject. I was expected to know a good deal of history if I wanted to advance rank.
An overall view of the war from my perspective:
We were content to stay out of the war on our safe continent and powerful navy defending us on both sides. We were happy to provide massive amounts of support to our allies.
A lot of things that were happening eventually required us to formerly enter. Most of all Pearl Harbor. Once that happened we had to respond. The public was outraged and the nation had come together and made it into a "good vs evil" thing.
The other part of the country aka big business, knows that war = profit. So there was a push from that side too, not too mention we weren't doing all that great economically. Once we entered the fight business boomed and unemployment all but vanished. Which made the country come even closer together and support the war effort more and more. Fortunes were made in the US during WW2.
Once were in the war everyone knows what happens and who wins so I won't talk about that.
Since the war though, all these years later, we've had time to reflect and study our actions and the "give and take" of the war. On the whole it was something that I believe had to be done. I personally believe we waited too long and let it get out of hand. I also think Pearl Harbor had a chance to be avoided.
I have mixed feelings on the use of the A-bomb. I often ask myself exactly how necessary was it. The battle in the pacific was extremely brutal aleady and then in a blink if an eye we took it to an atrocious level. War is hell I understand, but I felt like we stooped to a very low level with those attacks.
In Europe we were winning but the loss of life that was occurring will never be forgotten. The US alone lost almost 500 thousand people. And we were the lucky ones. Millions of people were being killed in Europe. Germany estimates they lost close to 10 MILLION people, China almost twice that.
To me it's almost a fairytale because of the massive scale of the whole thing and the incredible brutality of it. It gives me a bad taste in my mouth to think about it. Like I said, I look at it like something that had to be done but that could have been handled in a better way. I commend all those people who were involved in the fighting. Those were some very Brave men and women, nothing can take that away from them. I respect those people to the fullest for what they endured and sacrificed.
In the end. I think we learned a lot from that war. Most importantly above all else, we learned that we never want that to happen again.