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National service would be good

Date: 6/21/2011

The recent tornado which swept through western Massachusetts is a prime example of people rising to the occasion and feeling good about being able to help those in need.

On April 21, 2009, President Obama signed into law bill HR 1388 which is basically an extension of AmeriCorps and other federally funded programs. But in order for the bill to pass in the House and the Senate a section of the bill was taken out.

The part of the bill that was omitted was Section 6104 which basically stated that a commission be established to investigate whether a fair and reasonable "mandatory" service requirement for "all" able young people could be developed. It goes on to say that this type of mandatory civil service would strengthen the social fabric of our nation.

Another bill HR 1444 was introduced shortly afterwards re-introducing this language again but was referred to committee and hasn't progressed any further.

Although many called the bill forced servitude and socialism and even Nazi Nationalism, I refuse to believe this is the intent. Community service would give many youngsters a sense of worth and direction. It would bring together people from diverse backgrounds. Perhaps such a program should be the topic of discussion among students themselves and listen to their feedback.

Bill Paul


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