You had the Depression (bust), followed by Pearl Harbor and WW2, and the post-war boom. This created the perception of the Greatest Generation. But the media has failed to put things into perspective and the boom, bust, and war cycle continues to this day. Maybe the current generations are under-rated.
Many overlook that the Internet bubble 90s were a period like post WW2, booming without external threats. That bubble popped and then what did we get? 911.
911 was like Pearl Harbor, plus you have Aphghanistan (Taliban), Iraq (Bathists/Sadaam), Syria (Bathists/Assad), Libya (Khadaffi), Pakistan (Bin Laden killed there) and many other wars and pseudo-wars since then.
Now the ‘war on terror’ has gone on 16 years , which is actually much longer than WW2 was. Unlike the cold war its a hot war, rather than a standoff.
Other than Pearl Harbor the US was not attacked during WW2. Whereas war on terror massacres here in the US by foreign (inspired) cells have been at least once a year almost.
I don’t think the major media has done a good job of putting modernity in perspective. When the history books are written a hundred years from now the War on Terror will be considered to have been WW3, and the Generations of X and Millenials will be considered to have been fairly militant and forthright.