On This 9/11, Recapture The Spirit Of ServiceSo now what? This 9/11 will see no forum on national service like the one in 2008, which is too bad. This strange and even harsher election season hasn’t sparked much public conversation regarding AmeriCorps expansion.

Hillary Clinton has offered a plan embracing the existing law’s vision for increasing enrollment to the 250,000 level. She would also boost scholarship awards for AmeriCorps participants who serve full-time for a longer stint of two years, a piece of her related plan to make college more affordable.

AmeriCorps engages more than 75,000 Americans in intensive service each year at nonprofits, schools, public agencies, and community and faith-based groups across the country. Since the program’s founding in 1994, almost 1 million AmeriCorps members have contributed more than 1.2 billion hours in service across America while tackling pressing problems and mobilizing millions of volunteers for the organizations they serve.

AmeriCorps programs do more than move communities forward; they serve their members by creating jobs and providing pathways to opportunity for young people entering the workforce. AmeriCorps places thousands of young adults into intensive service positions where they learn valuable work skills, earn money for education, and develop an appreciation for citizenship.

Donald Trump has called national service “a beautiful thing” and criticized Democrats for not following through on AmeriCorps expansion. Rather than release a real plan, Mr. Trump, in typical form, conveyed his vague pledge of action (“We’re going to look at it.”) in an off-hand and somewhat garbled response to a voter’s question.

At their first televised debate on Sept. 28 the two candidates should be asked about their national service positions and how they would achieve an AmeriCorps ramp-up Congress has resisted for years.

On This 9/11, Recapture The Spirit Of Service

Cross-posted on The Huffington Post Fifteen years after the horrific terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, my thoughts keep returning to a remarkable gathering I attended at Columbia University on a prior 9/11 anniversary, in 2008, and the unfulfilled promise of that inspiring evening.