Thanks for your comment, Brian, I really appreciate the personal touch in it.
When looking back, we're drawn between the futility of it all and the sacrifice. An optimist believes that their sacrifice, in the end, has contributed to our present sense of freedom, to our present state of well-being. A pessimist will claim that their deaths have made no difference whatsoever, apart from the enormous grief and misery they brought to their loved-ones.
Though an enormous optimist at heart, when it comes to war, I tend to take the pessimist view.