Americans are taught from early on in school that World War II was all about Pearl Harbor and that "we" went in to Europe and kicked ass, and then had no choice and blew up two entire cities in Japan. And then everything was perfect for everyone!
The REALITY - The United States sat back while every one of its most important allies suffered brutality. Germany was taking over Europe, bit by bit. The had ALL of Europe basically in their grip (along with Italy and their gang) except for the few neutral countries (who they marched right through anyway) and Great Britain, which eventually had no choice but to just sit and defend itself because it was vulnerable from every direction. While city after city in England and Scotland was demolished, while thousands upon thousands of British citizens were blown to bits, burnt to death, or smothered, Americans said, 'nah, we'll wait thanks. But here's some bombs - you can pay us later." Finally when Roosevelt realized there was no choice but to enter the war (because the world was basically in shock that one of the only surviving superpowers, besides England, was sitting on their hands while the world was being taken over by three men) - he made sure that a big "event" would happen to throw American sentiment across the sea. So we had Pearl Harbor, and then all those fresh, well fed American soldiers took off to join the parched, injured, half-starved Allies.
Now cut to 2001. America gets attacked by an extremist group - not a government - and 3000 people tragically die. Bush decided to blame it on Iraq, as an impetus to bring them down for trying to assinate his fire (and because Iraq sits on a huge buttload of oil.) So when Bush cries out to the rest of the world to try to start World War III, a lot of countries, well, sat on THEIR hands. They remembered the millions of dead family members. They could still see the effects of the horrible bombing blitzes of World War II. They had seen TENS of thousands of civilians die in one night, or over a week, and just have to cope. America has been attacked on its own soil TWICE, and only once by a country. Someday we as Americans will learn the mistake our pseudo-government has made, because we are now the most hated nation on earth, and we have no excuse for it.
The American View of World War II is getting lost in time, because it didn't have much impact on any future generations, as it did in Europe and Asia, and every other country who fought for the length of the war.
The example isn't there - it's the lack of example. The United States does nothing to set an example anywhere, nor does it encourage its own citizens to think on a global level. It's all about US, USA, USA, USA. Scary stuff.