(CNN) –On the anniversary of the September 11 attacks, presidential candidates John McCain and Barack Obama each take the stage to discuss service and civic engagement in a forum at Columbia University.
What do you think of their ideas? How does the role of service determine what kind of nation we live in? What does national service mean to you?
Along with CNN Senior Political Correspondent Candy Crowley, CNN Senior Political Analyst Bill Schneider, CNN Political Analyst Roland Martin, and Republican strategist Bay Buchanan, thousands of you weighed in.
Click "comments" below for a look at the entire conversation.
Service is a good thing, and why I understand the need for it, I think mandatory service is a bad idea. I for one don't want to have to serve in the millitary especially with the George W. Bush experience. I've learned the hard way. We might get another president who will think he is smarter than every one else and enter into another holy war.
I have always have a lot of respect for people who go into public service but this year is the first time that I was actually motivated to do it and Barack Obama was my motivation. All John McCain has done is make me feel as if I'm selfish for not joining the military. All his talk of being a POW is getting weary, I wonder if hadn't been a POW, would he have anything to campaign about.
I think senator Obama did very well
Obama is under polling because they are not counting all the black people who will be voting and young people Obama wins easily
How do McCain feel about civil rights. Remember he did want MLK a holiday. He told the folks in on MLK anniversary that he was sorry. It took him 40 years to admit he was wrong. Wow is that the kind of president that we want. Takes 40 years to admit that he was wrong.
Good lord. Mayors fill potholes, trim trees and make sure the garbage is taken away? There he goes again....
Go Obama! You did well and did not evade questions or talk soundbites like your old grandpa.
By the way, I went to Iraq and Afghanistan in 2006 and 2007, in a band playing for the troops. It was my way to give back to the soldiers, who are protecting this country. It felt so good to know I was making a difference in someones life. Giving back, whether it be donating clothes, helping put people back to work or find a home, tutor a child after school, or yes, even going to play music for the troops, and get their mind off of the war for a few hours makes you feel GOOD. Obama seems to get it, and McCain doesn't.
didn't president bush promise to shake up washington? Look what we got from that Republician
My vote goes to obama.. more sense than mc cain.
Im worried about our 6% unemployment rate
Budget Deficit, High food price, Weak dollars, Foreclosure. I think about my kids future if they will be able get new jobs. I see the big difference 8 yrs ago.
Will Americans actually recognize before Election Day that if John McCain is such an "agent of change" he's had nearly 3 decades to use his alleged power and influence to make change in the area of energy independence, making quality healthcare affordable for all citizens and forcing our wealthiest citizens to pay their fair share of taxes? In these and so many other areas, John McCain's idea of change appears to be more of the same.
If there ever was a time for community service, now is it! The sad, shameful truth is that our children who live in poverty would suffer greatly without local food banks, non-profit health organizations, etc & the self-sacrificing people who donate their time & energy. Our priority should be to focus on serving our own communities–not that we shouldn't help others around the world, but if we don't help our own people, how can we even begin to justify it beyond our borders?
McCain sounds like Bush, he leaves many unanswered questions in the minds of the American people.
Sen. Obama answered his questions remarkably. It was a fantastic night for him.
The worst thing about this whole election year is the unfair media coverage. The black analyst have nothing bad to say about Obama even though it's clear he doesn't have the experience and he wants to cut his teeth in the white house. Then there's the attacks on Palin. Both parties said that they would bring change, but how is attacking the other party change. Lipstick on a pig? Is that something that a presidential candidate should say? What does that say about his judgement? I don't get it.
I remember working along side my father doing communtiy service ! I loved it! It gave me happiness to know that I was helppinga family out who had so little. I do believe communtiy service is needed in fact in my old school district we hada160 hours of communtiy service that was required to graduate. I believe that it should be a requirement to graduate but not so many hours.
Why is it that McCain claims that his time in the POW camp taught him to not be selfish, but he came home from the camp and cheated on his handicapped/ill wife with a "girl" in her early 20's.
While McCain is quick to say "Country First," what about putting one's "Family responsibility First!"
barbara–this is the US not Cuba...Wake Up. Open your mind to intellectual thoughts..
Go Senator Obama!
Vik, have you not heard Sarah "Puppet" Plain's repetitive speech? She uses it all of the time, and I bet you I can recite some of the lines by now. Obama has many fantastic, bright, new, promising ideas for this country. Please open your ears and your heart.
I am disappointed that McCain chose to go on the offensive rather than be honest about the attacks by palin and Guliani. That showed me a person who is not willing to be accountable or "change" anything. He can't even change his own people, how would he suddenly change governement?
William, please stop blowing smoke. Obama made his background known...period! THEY decided to re introduce that information in a horribly negative way. It matters not what someone thinks of it...it is noble and deserves respect!
Until EVERYONE admits they need to clear thier head, put down their prejudice (whatever that might be), forget what they heard in the media and on the internet, then focus on the facts...AFTER, they serve a week with habitat for humanity or the red cross helping hurricane victims, nothing is ever going to change. We better get it right or we are going to suffer the consequences.
Adrienne- You have to be kidding! Obama uses his 'change' platform to answer every question as possible, rarely giving a definitive answer. For example, where does he plan to pay for this universal healthcare? How does his plans for education actually help failing schools? To these and other questions, Obama has hid behind his transparent shield of change, avoiding real plan making.
we do not need to have bad terms with Russia. This is a new age of peace and prosperity and we are being left behind. The past 8 years we been held or even surpressed from this prosperse times. We need to be on good terms with everyone and join in with the new ages.
we also need a president that can work a computer.... it is the INFORMATION AGE
Obama, you inspire me!!!! What a wonderful concept, joining hands to help our country, even us senior citizens. I would do it under your leadership, of course!!!!!
You are the inteligent, articulate, gentleman we need as a leader!!!!
I know we will become a better country with you as our President.
YOU HAVE MY VOTE
The line that I will remember is in McCain's response to the question about what would he do as president for college grads who want to do service but have so much debt they can't afford it.
McCain's nonsensical response included "the busiest people are the busiest people." What does that mean?!?
Obama once again said about his grandfather serving but yet records show that his grandfather Dunham signed up 6 months after June 18, 1942. And also in his book Dreams of My Father he said his grandfather nerver fought. So did he or didn't he.? He had an advantage of where it was tonite. but it was nothing new they said. I would have like to know when he said he thougt about joining the service so why didn't he ? Also the comment he made on ABc's This Week last Sunday about saying "His muslim faith, and repeated it and George Stephanopolis correct him and said your christian faith. You tube pulled it. He looked confused. what was that all about? He needs more time , he is not ready . He says that McCain agreed with Bush 90 % of the times well he agreed with the dems 97 of the time.