We fought back, both in the Pacific and in Europe, despite starting the war on desperate footing - a disastrous economy, skeleton armed forces, and the daunting distance between our shores and the fighting theaters. In less than four years we had complete victory.
The best measure of the completeness of this victory is the current state of the Axis powers. Germany and Japan are allies with working democratic institutions and have been so for many years. Moreover, they are sometimes at odds with us economically and politically, without breaking those alliances. They are truly free and independent, not conquered vassals.
Personally I feel that our current conflict in the Middle East is much more akin to this war than it is to a certain abandoned conflict that rhymes with Be It Mom. If we see it through in the same manner I have every confidence that the countries of the Middle East will retain a lot of their character, with notable additions - liberty, opportunity, and independence; and like Germany and Japan today, and the United States of old: "they [shall] have full Power to levy War, conclude Peace, contract Alliances, establish Commerce, and to do all other Acts and Things which Independent States may of right do."
For the support of this, our generation has "pledeg[d] to each other our Lives, our Fortunes, and our sacred Honor." There is no substitute for seeing it through now.
(For more on this day, please visit the following links:
Rob at File it Under: "A day that shall live in infamy"
Coalition of the Swilling: "Stories"
Half a Pica: "A day that shall live in infamy"
It Comes in Pints?: "No Great Post"
The Sheila Variations: "Today in history"
Michelle Malkin: "Pearl Harbor: 64 Years" (with many links)
...but not MSNBC, which has but one link to a small video snippet on the day. And that's better than the National Review Online, which has zilch. C'mon, guys...)
update, 6:10 pm - it's only fair to note that last year, on December 7, I posted twice after a ten-day holiday-and-sickness-related absence; neither post mentioned Pearl Harbor. C'mon, Fly...