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Tonight's forum was both enlightening and a relief of the political bantering Americans have watched this last few weeks. Both candidates took the high road and commended each others service given to our nation. McCain the legendary war hero and Obama the civil servant. Both candidates believe that an incredible opportunity was missed by President Bush to rally our country post 911. Instead of telling Americans to go out an shop President Bush should have encouraged volunterism in the military and civilian sectors. McCain and Obama spoke of the benifits of our Peace and America Corps. I was not born during World War II, but I cannot stop thinking about "Its a Wonderful Life." When World War II erupts, George Bailey leads the can food and material drives and his brother Harry becomes a Navy pilot and is awarded the Medal of Honor for shooting down 15 enemy aircraft. Each one served our country with honor. Obama and McCain played simular roles in their service to our country.


Today, I walked down to see the new Pentagon Memorial. Like many Americans I watched the smoke bellow out of the headquarters of our Defense Department on September 11, 2001. I was shocked, horrified, and felt a huge fustration that I could not do anything to help. Their was a call for blood, so I went down and donated some. I brought my camera and took some pictures for DCpages. It was the hardest photo assignment I probably will ever have. Every time I peered through the camera lense I could not stop crying.


The week following September 11, 2001, I went to the prayer service at the National Cathedral and left for New York. It was worse. The 'Big Apple' was quiet and a haze cloud was over Manhatten. I looked up at the tall buildings next to me trying to imagine the collapse of the Towers. Words written in dusty window panes looking for lost friends, hundreds of people crying and praying at Liberty Square. It was heart wrenching. I then got the opportunity to visit crash site near Shanksville in rural Somerset County, Pennsylvania. September 11 changed my life. I realized how mortal I was and how large this event was. I remember putting out candles for the victims of this tragedy. I wanted to do more. So did the rest of the world. Our allies sent planes to protect our skies. I cried a silent thank you.


I remember President Bush's speech that we were going to get Osama Bin Laden dead or alive. I was happy to put links to Armed Forces recruitment sites. It was something our publication could do to help. One of our staff decided to join the military. Rob ended up in Afganistan. I could not tell you how proud I was for him. I prayed to God that he would not get in harms way. I got caught up in the patriotism. Mayor Guilani visited Washington and got I went to see him at the Verizon Center. So many good things were happening. But, then Iraq came along. We all heard that Al Queda was working with Saddam in attacking America and they were building nuclear weapons. At first I thought our country needed to attack Iraq to protect ourselves, but I wondered why many of our allies were not supporting us. I also noticed our President was not telling us to donate our time and our goods for the war effort, but to go spend money at our supermarkets. Then the Downing street memo leaked out and America became confused. Resentment began to build when we did not find weapons of mass destruction and word spread that we did not finish Osama Bin Laden at Torra Borra. Our prewar intelligence investigations started and the blame game commenced. The lines became more blurred when the fire fighters who volunteered in New York started getting lung ailments and our government was not paying the tab. We all know the story. Finally, both parties are admitting this disgraceful act. I personally felt duped and got even more angry at what was transpiring. Both senators Obama and McCain were instumental in letting Americans know the mistakes our government made.


Today was a blessing to me. The dedication ceremony for those that lost their lives on September 11 are for a brief period the center of national attention. I respect both Senator McCain and Senator Obama on their opinion of the future. They are not much different. But, Obama is George Bailey in my eyes. He sees that we have to have government to get people jobs and a sense of American Pride. John McCain believes that our government should work closer with companies like Target and Walmart. They have the logistics to help get aid to people faster. John McCain is weary of expanding our civilian sector in the government. Obama knows that this is the time that we really need it. I think every American needs to get inspired and lend a hand on getting the best nation back on its feet. On this issue I side with Obama.


I hope that Barack Obama chooses to take up John McCain on his challenge to join him in a town hall meetings accross our country.

Edited by wiley
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Guest Always Red

This country cannot afford bigger government. There are many non-profit and church organizations that people can join already. If people are looking to volunteer their time then they can join these organizations. In World War II our country requested the help from manufacturers to build our ships, planes, and tanks. Today our companies nationwide have helped our country during times of disaster. Senator McCain respects Obama's opinion, but realizes the country needs to go in another direction to solve our service problems. Although I do believe our next President needs to do a better job at inspiring our country. John McCain is the right choice for that responsibility. John McCain deserves to be our next president.

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Guest Combative Veteran

Everyone here forgets that barely two weeks ago, her focus was to confine the vast majority of her interests, as well as her time, to the people of Alaska. Solely. In the meantime, she has been tapped for the second-highest political office in our country. With that nomination, she has had to suddenly commit to speeches, appearances, and conventions in front of millions of people all over the world, and has been ripped from what she figured would be her 'main task' of governing Alaska (a scant 2 weeks ago) - and thrust into the international limelight. And you want her, in the midst of this whirlwind tour to suddenly know every definable and subtle policy of the United States government, after having two to three days of briefing at the hands of Joe Lieberman? Good thing you're not asking for much, eh?

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