‘In war the dead pay the debts of the living,’ and they have paid us well.”?

Question:This is a phrase in the novel " My Brother Sam is Dead." Any ideas on what is means?

I think it means the people who died in war payed the price, the debts, of the people living and they payed it well because they died fighting.

Hope that helps! : )
all of this is understandable, because in war, lots of people die, and if each person who died would pay their debt, then the sum of all of the people would be a large amount, basically, in other words, the death toll was higher than ever, at least that's what i think.

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