On September 11, 2008, Senators John McCain and Barack Obama participated in the ServiceNation forum, discussing the importance of national service in the United States. Gayle talks with the forum's co-moderator, Time magazine managing editor Rick Stengel, about the event and about public service and politics.
In September 2007, Rick wrote a cover story for Time magazine, "The Case for National Service," which outlined a plan for universal national service. "I think we really did miss an opportunity after September 11 to engage people in that way," Rick says. The idea of a summit on national service, including a presidential forum, came about in 2007. "We had invited [the senators] to do this months ago because both men are very much in favor of national service and in different ways," Rick says. "They are both patriots in that sense."
Rick says young people today are volunteering more than any time in history, but they perceive volunteering and national service as different things. Young people think volunteering is private and personal, while national service is public. "One of the things we want to do is make people realize that they are one in the same," Rick says. "Your individual service is really part of national service. What we need to do is figure out how to make service and volunteering solve national problems."