Obama, McCain attending 9/11 forum on public service

To mark the 7th anniversary of the September 11th, 2001 terrorist attacks on the Pentagon, the Twin Towers, and Flight 93, both Senator McCain and Senator Obama will be in New York City speaking and attending a forum on civic duty and public service. In honor of the remembrance on 9/11 both campaigns have agreed to temporarily cease TV advertisements and campaign-related attacks for the day.

News release from Columbia University on the forum:

In their first joint appearance since the party conventions, presidential nominees John McCain and Barack Obama will discuss service and civic engagement in the post-9/11, post-Katrina world during the primetime televised “ServiceNation Presidential Candidates Forum” on the evening of Thursday, Sept. 11, hosted by Columbia University in the City of New York, as part of the ServiceNation Summit.

The Forum is being organized by ServiceNation, a dynamic new coalition of 110 organizations that has a collective reach of some 100 million Americans and is dedicated to strengthening democracy and solving problems through civic engagement and service.

The presidential candidates forum will kickoff the bipartisan ServiceNation Summit, held on Sept. 11-12, and ServiceNation’s national campaign to expand voluntary community and national service opportunities for all Americans. PBS NewsHour anchor Judy Woodruff will join moderator Richard Stengel, managing editor of TIME magazine, to question the candidates—who will appear separately—about their views on the meaning and importance of service.

The in-depth, back-to-back interviews will begin at 8:00 p.m. ET before a live audience of Sept. 11 family members, military veterans, thought leaders, and Columbia University students. New York Gov. David Paterson will welcome the audience before the start of the event.

The forum will air on the cable news networks including CNN, Fox News, and MSNBC. I’m sure it will also be carried on C-SPAN.

Will have more tomorrow including full video and a report on the forum along with video from this year’s 9/11 remembrance ceremonies.


John McCain attending a memorial honoring Flight 93 in Pennsylvania:

Looking for some Obama video, will post when I find it.

Report from Yahoo News on Obama and McCain:

SHANKSVILLE, Pa. – Republican presidential hopeful John McCain asked every person Thursday to “to be as good an American” as the passengers and crew of United Airlines Flight 93. Democrat Barack Obama asked Americans to “renew that spirit of service and that sense of common purpose” that followed the Sept. 11 attacks.

With 54 days left in the heated presidential campaign, Thursday was unusual — a mutual political cease-fire in honor of the day terrorists forced four airplanes into the World Trade Center towers in New York City, a field in Shanksville, Pa., and the Pentagon in Washington, killing nearly 3,000 people.

Obama and McCain, were to appear together twice at anniversary-related events, although briefly each time and mostly without public words. They also agreed to suspend all TV ads critical of each other.

The 2001 attacks transformed the nation in many ways, and one is that every anniversary since has found those holding or seeking office struggling for ways to appropriately pay homage. But it remained to be seen whether the McCain and Obama camps would refrain from sharp-edged campaigning, something hard to halt in an age of the Internet and 24-hour television news.

Obama issued a morning statement, recalling that on Sept. 11, 2001, “Americans across our great country came together to stand with the families of the victims, to donate blood, to give to charity, and to say a prayer for our country,” he said. “Let us renew that.”

He included what seemed a subtle dig — though at President Bush, not McCain — with a reference to the work Bush is leaving unfinished. “Let us remember that the terrorists responsible for 9/11 are still at large, and must be brought to justice,” Obama said. His campaign said no criticism was intended by the remark.

9/11 tribute post moved here:

September 11th, 2001: Remembering those we lost


Obama and McCain visit Ground Zero in New York City:

More to come later on tonight’s forum.


Watch the full video here of the 9/11 forum:

video: McCain, Obama at the 9/11 Presidential Forum

  • And in honor of 911 I will not debate my fellow Americans on electoral issues today as well. 😀

  • jennifer

    Isn’t “public service” another name for “Community Organizing”? Given what Sarah Palin had to say about Community Organizing in her RNC speech, I thought the GOP hated Community Organizing and all volunteer work other than serving in the military.

    So let me get this straight (again to paraphrase Sarah Palin): It’s okay for the GOP to say one thing to our face (those of us who think public service is vital to the survival of our country and how things get done (e.g., suffragists, MLK, union organizers, Jesus Christ, etc.)) and then to turn around and say something completely different when she thinks we’re not listening (i.e., her rant against Community Organizing in her RNC speech)?

  • valleyofthesun

    When she thinks we’re not listening??? At the RNC speech that the whole world listened to??

    You’re an idiot. Give it a rest out of respect for the day, will ya?

    My prayers to all of the military personnel and their families. And I hope the entire family of YD2008 is well today.

  • will

    Jennifer has a point, and just because something horrific happened 7 years ago doesn’t mean we should stop being critical of what politicians are doing or saying. Quite frankly, that’s how we got in the mess we’re in today.

  • I tend to agree.

    Some will say we shouldn’t think about it anymore, some will say we did it ourselves. And some will say don’t look at it anymore.

    I say never stop looking at it, never forget. Because to forget is to allow it to happen again.


  • I also want to say God’s speed to Salrah Palin’s son, deploying to Iraq today, and all those going with him.

  • Christopher Schwinger

    Did any of you learn that Keith Olbermann just got demoted for saying that 9-11 shouldn’t be a propaganda device for the Republican Party? Sounds like he’s out of favor with the powerful neo-conservatives . . .

  • Pansycritter

    The forum was a typical liberal media handout to the community organizer. It appears Obama cheated. Now I guess he’s even. That’s always important to Obama. Tit for tat. Now the snarky boobs can’t complain about his poor showing at Saddleback. McCain let him win so he would quit fussing.

  • Ed D

    Wow, this forum was much needed! Before today American volunteerism and charity were non-existent!

    Oh wait! I seem to recall that long before McCain and Obama opened their mouths to call on the People to serve their government,and long before these PC do-gooders organized this event, the American people had already been, and still are, the most giving of time and money to good causes than any other people in the world!

    I’ve got news for McCain and Obama about government service. The American People are not the government’s servants; it is the other way around. The government is the servant of the People. Given that self-evident truth, if anyone is to “volunteer” his time it ought to be McCain; it ought to be Obama. That is, let them serve in the Senate and in the Presidency without pay.

    And I was struck with the nature of the service McCain called on all our young people to render to the state. It was military service in order to grow the military so that the U.S. government could continue its military adventurism in Afghanistan and Iraq and to expand it into Iran and Georgia!

    I call upon all my fellow citizens to render to us an invaluable public service; that is to withhold their votes from both McCain and Obama. Run all incumbents, Democrat and Republican alike, right out of Washington. That is the kind of public service the American People need to perform for this country.

  • OMG! They’re back. I no sooner reported The Democratic National Committee had been consigned to the dustbin of history, than it reappeared that very evening at the 9-11 Forum On Public Service & Civic Engagement. Held at Columbia University, Richard Stengel, managing editor of TIME narrated the forum, staged by Service Nation (a new nationwide coalition). The DNC has reemerged as The (International) Provisional People’s Collective Party, or PCP. Howard Dean is still the chairman. And, guess what the PCP has in store; you guessed it: Political Officers, Commissars. As you may know, the title Commissar refers to either a People’s Commissar (government), or a Political Commissar (military). The good news, we’re going to have both. In the Soviet Union, the Institute of Political Commissars was established to control the military. The state security organizations, KGB, etc., and or People’s Commissars also controlled the Soviet Army, together with the entire Soviet State. This system was so effective; we should have Commissars. But first we have to train them: The National Public Service Academy. Welcome comrade, you are about to embark on a great adventure: http://theseedsof9-11.com

  • LJ Zimmer

    Viewed The 9/11 Presidential Forum…Who came up with this bios format?? You had a gay guy and a liberal women asking questions. First to McCain, with Obama and all of his advisors listening to the same questions that will be asked of Obama….Like I said…
    “What Ahole Came Up With This Format?”