(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.
In response to : Randy Smythe
Well I agree some of the issues caused by the federal government.
Government especially the Federal reserve and Alan Greenspan created the mess of the todays mortgage crisis.
The Federal government should have more oversight in the financial markets especially the hedgers who spread rumors and hence the Oil Price was ballooned and consumers paid the price for it. while institutional investors made hefty profits.
As far as the economy concerned – the republicans always concerned in military and overseas issues. Hence the local economy go unnoticed. Bush ignored and John Mccain will do so. he only want to fight. Not create jobs an dget the people out of unemployment.
I hear a lot from McCain regarding how important military service is and what an impact it has had on his life. Yet he consistantly votes against pay increase for our military while he continues to support a war in which contractors working for the like or Black water and Haliburton make a small fortune. How can he reconcile the two?
If tonight is not a night to compare the contrasts between the two candidates, then why do they keep asking Obama questions in regards to what John McCain said in his interview? Are they going to give John McCain time for a "rebutal" ?
Lt Col A you are very wrong. Not everyone is fit to serve in military. What about those that have incapabilities that cannot serve in the military that do community service. Your trying to tell me there service is less then yours. I would say they are equal considering ...
Roland, if Ms Palin is on her mom's insurance/medical plan, how does that make her on "welfare"? She is still a minor and both her parents work. I guess you consider all the children that are born to military parents and born on base or paid for by Tricare welfare babies.
For those who keep saying smaller Government. Have you seen the last eight years? Why can investment banks increase fuel prices by more than 40%? Why was there predatory lending running rampant?
Notice that some say less less government. Who has benefited the last eight years ? Hows your city doing?
Listening to McCain I had the feeling he was dealing with issues adversarily. Much nicer listening to Obama, makes me feel like we're in this all together. It's refreshing after feeling jaded for so long about policitics. I like that his thoughts are back with specific details for action......again, refreshing!
"Say Anything McCain will in fact say anything to be president, he is a war hawk and dangerous ... as for volunteerism, our daughter gets home soon from a tour in Peace Corps. We will pick her up at the airport, bring her home, help her find a job, be happy that she is home from a over two year tour of duty ... not quite the same perks as the military but I dare to say she did more good in restoring the reputation and good will of America.
Bob R..like the Saddleback forum where McCain sat in the limo and watched?
Dear Anonymous at 9:13,
Come on...You make McCain look like a saint, like he did something extraordinary compared to thousands if not millions of Americans who have served in various fashions, and they do it humbly by not boasting about it...unlike McCain.
All McCain did was his duty, period.
The issue we fail to realize in education is the funding gap between schools. You tell me if teachers "fail" because they are bad teachers, or as a result of the school. If students must share textbooks, and have zero access to technology or academic support from the government they are at a disadvantage.
Obama talks about mutual synergistic relationship between government and citizen initiatives.
Nobody that I know, including myself, wants the commit to a low paying service job (even if it's federally funded-I'm referring to Obama's comment about having federally trained crisis leaders) when I'm going to have a $300 plus college loan payment every month after graduation. This is why people avoid service, bc of the inability to survive financially.
Great comment Roland!
He is probably promoting a prize for a battery to run a car.
WHY does Obama have to make fun of Mccain and Palin with such arrogance ?? What does he know about running a country , Does he think he's somebody special , He's nothing , hasn't done anything for this country nor has his wife.. Look at all the things Cindy Mccain has done that we never hear about ...Wake up people before it's to late..I'll feel much safer with Mccain...
Candy – So,,...Obama has to hit it out of the park or he'll be deemed to have lost. It seems like we set high expectations for high achievers and almost hope they don't measure up.
Frankly, I'm with Roland. I don't get this forum – very few would argue community service is not important. But it's the economy (and the war) stupid.
I think Obama's ideas are fresh and revolutionary. This is what America needs
Experience is subjective–one cannot judge nor predict the future. Someone with fresh experience, such as Obama may be the change we need in politics. Too many people were "qualified"–George W. Bush, for example, and his presidency didn't turn out much better than those who were less qualified to be president. You can't judge a book based upon its cover–it's the same logic here. Listen to what each candidate has to say, what they are going to do, then respond. Simple experience doesn't bring good ideas or policies.
There is only one time of sacrifice and service and that is serving your country as a military servicemember. It is called self sacrifice where you learn things like PATRIOTISM, HONOR COUNTRY, RESPECT, DISCIPLINE, and also get a view of what your military does for you on a daily basis. No other service can do this. Those of you that disagree just head your wipy .... back to your college and hide while the Warriors fight the battles you are to scared to fight. I believe in all Americans, men and women, should do a mandatory 2yr service in our military period. It would also make it an even playing field between rich and the poor, politicians kids and your average joe's kids serving! If you disagree just go on sticking little yellow ribbons on your truck and calling that patriotism you wimp!
Question for Obama:
Why can't America come up with a comprehensive recycling program at the same time it pushes for policies for renewable energy. America creates so much waste and we recycle the least. Can we turn that around through service? That's a service that takes place within the walls of your house that EVERYONE can do.
Obama and McCain are both talking about service about people in military. But what about taking are nation people out of it. Saving are American people. Have any one said what are they going to do for Stop Global Warming
Yes Bill boils down to going it alone or living in cooperation
RIGHT ON!!!! The rich and privilaged use the handouts of government more than the average American. But those that really need it should suck it up.
What a Joke!
Obama is the type of person that can bring unions and other people together, this is the type of leadership that this country needs. A president who is willing to work with all sides to accomplish the big issues of the day.