The triumph in World War II was a collective, democratic and unifying event, the likes of which we never experienced before (the Civil War in some respects rivaled the effect, but of course, it was also hugely divisive). It involved almost everyone. As soldiers, sailors and airmen, rich and the poor were tossed in together; so were North and South, urban and rural.
The triumph was not the property of any group, region or class; the victory was national. It belonged to everyone. One of the war’s great emotional appeals, I think, is this emphasis on communal responsibility, obligation and reward. (Unsurprisingly, there are many exceptions to this, the most conspicuous being the continued segregation, even in fighting units, of African Americans.)
It’s why we love World War II. It reminds us who we can be when we are at our best. There is much focus now on inequality, but the inequality is economic, measured in dollars and cents. World War II did not eliminate differences of income and wealth, but it did emphasize equality of duty and contribution. Patriotic commitment was not a function of bank accounts.