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Obama pardons turkeys from fate on a plate

Nov. 23, 2011 at 12:05 PM   |   Comments

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WASHINGTON, Nov. 23 (UPI) -- President Obama pardoned the National Thanksgiving turkey and his understudy Wednesday, saving them from a day when turkeys "don't have it so good."

"We can't wait to pardon" turkeys Liberty and Peace, Obama said Wednesday, alluding his executive actions that don't require congressional approval.

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

The two 19-week-old, 45-pound turkeys were raised in Willmar, Minn., and got their names from the Minnesota Turkey Growers Association.

Obama's pardon is the 64th such reprieve. The pardoned turkeys will live at George Washington's Mount Vernon Estate and Gardens in a custom-made enclosure at Mount Vernon's livestock facility.

On a more serious note, Obama said, "Let's be grateful for what we have. Let's be mindful of those who have less. Let's appreciate those who hold a special place in our lives and make sure that they know it. And let's think about those who can't spend the holiday with their loved ones, especially the members of our military serving overseas."

"And that's what being an American is all about," Obama said. "Even when times are tough, we look out for each other, we lift each other up, and we remind ourselves just how lucky we are here together in the greatest country on Earth."

Jaindl Farms in Orefield, Pa., gave the first family two dressed turkeys that will be donated to a local food bank.

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