(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.
Obama understands that the role of the president is to inspire the people to a higher level of achievement.
Go Roland!! The self righteousness of the Republicans makes me crazy!!
Rolland Martin ecellent job on keeping Bay at bay she is like a horse with blinders. GOOD JOB MARTIN
I agree Bill .... a smart idea
people cant serve if government doesnt provide different ways TO serve. obama's spot on!
It's funny how the Democratic commentators can be critical of their candidate but with the Reps, their candidate can do no wrong. I often feel that their campaigning for their candidate at CNN's expense.
That's right Bill – because some people think they should think the gov't should give them everything. Others believe it comes from within yourself, family and friends.
Put it out there. You have the answers.
I am from Canada and regularly follow American politics. I find it interesting that it seems that your politics divide your country. Its hard for me to view you as the UNITED States of America.
encore encore!!!..hes got his mojo back now. apresident that inspires theres a thought
"I'm happy to hear a politician sound intellectual" That may be the best defintion of "Elitism" I've heard yet. Thanks, Jeffrey
IF Sen Obama didnt make the "silent room", neither did Sen McCain during the "Saddlebag" interview. Sen Obama is excellent in actually expressing his plan/solutions/answers......unlike you know who.
bill, so you mean, Mccain wants most of the private sector to initiate most service programs
Am I the only one who does not miss the negative campaign ads today? I think not! Shannon, I will sign that petition.
I don't think McCain is the only one that looks good in a town hall format. Obama is doing very well here. Bay, we have had 7 years of basically one word answers, I welcome more of a detailed answer.
Forget it – Obama is only smooth when he has a teleprompter or he cheats by hearing the questions ahead of time.
Boy I guess I should read the comments before speaking.....my apologies
Obama is not lofty, Bay, you are just grounded. Grounded in a pathology that may not correlate to what is needed today.
This forum speaks to obama's central theme and how his campaign has made service it's central theme along with change.
Hey Roland, Dude, Am I and my 4 year old boy on welfare because I was promised medical care by the Govt for choosing to serve a career in the military? Yes or no? Your snarky anecdote aside, just as my son and I earned our Govt provided medical care, so has Palin's family earned their medical care for the service she has chosen to provide to her state. Man, did you walk right into that one.
Randy, are you listening?
Government doesn't solve everything. But guess what? When Republicans and rich folks get in trouble, they all fall back on the government.
I love it how folks go on and on about how government bad until THEY get in trouble.
No government? Our financial system may collapse if Bear Stearns goes down. No government? Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae crumble, and half of the nation's mortgages go down the tubes. No government? We don't have Chrysler today.
I love the free market people when things are going well, but when they sour, who do they call? Not Ghostbusters. The government!
obama is man with the right plan
Obama just stated that he listened to McCains interview ? And the interviewers stated at the beginning they were going to ask him alot of the same questions ? Not more fair perhaps if he were put in a silent room until the discussions were over ? Yes they tossed a coin to see who would go first but still i would contend not the most fair way of doing this.
This Forum is a nice one. When will McCain and Obama go head to head? Once that happen Amercians will know who to vote in Nov.
McCain talked mostly in terms of military. Obama is talking more in terms of the entire country, not just serving by joining the military.
Wait, I think I heard McCain mention that Community involvement shouldn't be forced because that takes away from people wanting to help. Meanwhile the government continues to use "community service" as a means of punishment for those that are convicted of breaking the law. Nothing like trying to promote an activity that is used in the same context as: Prison, Fines, Parole, and Death by lethal injection.
Both these guys make my head spin!