(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.
Bay Buchanan and Judy, Obama thinks about his answers and the manner in which he answers have been his appeal, to most of us, all along. Compared to what we have now in the White house, he is a breath of fresh air with his intelligent speak and I believe he will be the inspiration to this nation and the world with his ability to articulate of what he envisions our country to be...to put it into practice is something we will have to see and what kind of co-operation there will be with Congress and the Senate.
I really respect your comments you give credit when credit is due.
I find it hard to believe people want more of the same another 4 years this country had the best times under Clinton, it hurts me to say so becuase I'm a registered Republican and have always voted Republican all my life.
Perhaps we have come full circle in our society. Around the turn of the century Lillian Wald took on many social concerns, often seeking not only independant financing, but that of the government. Today, where are the young people, old people, any people who ar e willing to work for a small wage to serve others? Maybe government initiated services are needed. Or at least someone like Obamato inspire such service, regardless if he succeeds in becoming President.
Roland – keep talking about V.P. to be Sara Palin. Perfect
Have we lost Candy. Please come back to us. Love reading your insights.
All this talk about McCain's service..wasn't he paid for it? He acts like he did it free.
Girlpower, I agree trust should be a serious component in our presidential choices. Considering some of the lies and distortions coming from the McCain campaign lately, I find it more difficult to support him now for president, as I did in 2000. Years of Washington "experience" has not always proven to be beneficial.
In contrast, Obama inspires many Americans to want to do better for our communities and country, which is a trait I respectfully support in presidential leadership.
I feel inspired listening to Obama tonight. It makes me want to serve!
Rusty, What opportunity is he missing on the military question? What do you think he should accomplish in his answer?
Bill Schnieder, Republicans can try to hide, forget, ignore even set aside the question of age to no avail once we look at McCain. Please answer this question if you can, who is going to be running the country, should McCain gets the top job, when he goes to bed at 6:00 PM? Sarah Palin?
I agree with you Fabian, what is wrong with 2-4 year mandatory service and then a guarentee of a college degree... Would that be okay ROland?? Would that be welfare??? Or would it be honorable service.
Obama is better to inspire young people to serve, just look at his campaign. And i love how his definition of service isnt just millitary.
This is for the Lt. Col. A (Retired). I have a sister and a brother that both retired from the Arm Forces. One in the Air Force and one in the Navy, they never bring up their service to their nation nor do they expect people to bow down to them. What they do expect is that our government to take care of them like they took care of this Nation. What is wrong with this picture. I will tell you something if it wasn't for me writing the White House my brother would never had his ear operated on because he was getting to retired after he was forced out in the first place and they didn't want to pay for it. I wanted them to pay for it and not the VA cause having another brother that was in the Army and has more problems with the VA then anything in this world. Please don't give me this that they have right to be president just because they served in the military.
By the way, Jesus was not a community organizer, he flew in the face of the organizational tradition of his community, arriving instead to overturn tradition, abolish the old law, and sacrifice himself for humanity. First century humanity either adored him, or thought he was a madman for claiming to be God. He was a true Maverick. Most politicians have not a clue.
References – that book written through 13 centuries by over 40 individuals who didn't know each other and yet told a cohesive, sometimes prophetic storyline. Impossible? Got Bible? Try it.
Excellent safe answer by Barack, regarding ROTC, sure let them come to Columbia. The students are to bright to actually take the ROTC up on the offer. If anything they might present arguments to change the mindsets of the recruiters LOL.
Right on Roland !! Yeah how come the argument works for those other bail outs?
I as well feel that Palin got off with extremely easy answers. If your ready, your ready and she obviously is not ready. She is being prepped and filled in on all she needs to know about what McCain stands for... she is obviously NOT READY.
I tried to serbe in the military, they told me to go to college first, I couldn't afford that, no loans or grants. Because I couldn't supply all info required for those due to absent parents and didn't have their info.
Because of that I do not allow my sons to join the military.
Candy, are you referring to how some believe that McCain hit it out of the park at Saddleback when he had the home field advangage?
actually that is not true. As Obama indicated, there are many service jobs available that will pay up tp 50% of your college and graduate school loans in return to serving in rual and urban areas. For example, the national instituite of mental health will pay up to 50% of your loans if you are in the medical and allied health fields. Nurses will have their college education paid for if they work for an urban hosptial after school. Teachers can have their masters paid for if they work for an inner city school. It is hard to find this information, but it if out there.
It's every humans responsibility to care for each other. Especially if it's a family member in need. Just think if we all helped one other person. If we all did one thing for someone in real need (not the lazy who don't try) the government would save alot of money that could be used for education, medical insurance, cure cancer and the list is very long of what we could do with the money. Teach a human to fish......... u know the deal. Also the 7 houses McCain owns, are they rental property? Is he so rich he doesn't know how much bread and milk cost? We've heard it over and over again, the same, political candidate song, yet, as a nation, we are not improving. Maybe we need a real change.
Please don't publish my e-mail address. thank u.
Obama's answers sound a lot like McCains!!!! Did Obama listen back stage to the questions?
OK with that said why has he not served or where has he helped the Peace core in any way. Someone please ask him that.....
he is not missing the opportunity at all. He is connecting the dots.
Obama is talking about the importance of the GI bill. He seems to be a fierce proponent of military service. That is supposed to be McCain's forte. He agrees with McCain that ROTC programs should be on campuses such as Columbia. I think that should be left up to the institutions.