‘Liberty,’ ‘Peace’ Become Free Birds, Thanks to Thanksgiving Pardon

Obama gives two toms their freedom at National Thanksgiving Turkey ceremony.

by Lesley Kennedy • MORE.com

Liberty and Peace found a way to avoid ruffling feathers this Thanksgiving season. The patriotically named turkeys have received pardons from President Obama this morning at the 64th anniversary of the National Thanksgiving Turkey ceremony. Both first daughters, Sasha and Malia, stood by their father.

"Tomorrow is one of the best days of the year to be an American," said Obama. "It’s a day to count our blessings, spend time with the ones we love, and enjoy some good food and some great company. But it’s also one of the worst days of the year to be a turkey. They don’t have it so good."

The birds, both 19-week-old, 45-pound turkeys raised in Willmar, Minnesota, were chosen from more than 100 nominees sent to the Minnesota Turkey Growers Association website. Waving his left hand and smiling, Obama announced to Liberty, a white-feathered, red-headed turkey, "You are hereby pardoned." The turkey remained calm throughout the ceremony.

Wanna talk turkey with the turkeys? The birds will be on display at George Washington’s Mount Vernon Estate and Gardens through January 6. The two toms will then continue to live at Mount Vernon’s livestock facility.

Aww … It’s almost enough to make us opt for a Tofurkey this year. Almost.

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First Published November 23, 2011

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