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.

Update

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

Update

Obama and McCain visit Ground Zero in New York City:

More to come later on tonight’s forum.

Update

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

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