I had elders who fought in the World Wars... They survived. Others did not.
Those who did not come home changed our history. On the battlefields to be sure. But also in our current world. Some of those who did not come home would have had children, but they did not. Some of those children who never were might have grown to become doctors who cured diseases, engineered better buildings, made inspirational art, developed new varieties of plants to feed the hungry, or just been that good neighbor you needed when times were hard.
We will never know. Their loss may ripple through history. What next genious, what next innovative doctor, was never born through the untimely death of some soldier? So when we remember those who gave their lives to protect us, we must also consider what bravery, focus, skill, and dedication was also lost to our present.