That said, we were attacked in the most horrible of ways two years ago and the conventional wisdom at the time was that it was only the first attack of many to come. It felt like war at the time (in the macro sense, as you say, since I've never been in uniform either) and I think most in this country were only too happy to see the gloves come off, on our part.
Time gives us a new perspective and the opportunity to decide what sacrifices are necessary and which are not. This is a good thing. Much like the Cold War, this is going to take a long time and the battle will have many fronts, be they military, diplomatic, or economic. George W. Bush won't win the War on Terror, as Kennedy didn't win the Cold War. But he got the country off the ropes and throwing punches, which I think is good. Those who come after him may have better plans and new strategies. I hope they have the guts for the job, too.