President Bush spared "May" and "Flower" Tuesday morning.
WASHINGTON (CNN) - Adhering to a tradition now entering its 60th year, President Bush on Tuesday delivered a full presidential pardon to the national Thanksgiving turkey in the Rose Garden at the White House.
He also announced the names of the bird and its alternate, which were chosen by people who voted online. They will officially be called May and Flower, the president said.
"That's certainly better than the names the vice president suggested: Lunch and Dinner," Bush joked.
On a more serious note, the president reminded Americans they have much to be thankful for this holiday season.
"This Thanksgiving we are grateful for a harvest big enough to feed us all and millions more. We're grateful for citizens who reach out to those who struggle, from neighbors in need to the strangers they've never met," he said.
"We're grateful for working Americans, who've given us the longest period of uninterrupted job creation on record and a prosperity that lifts our citizens.
"And we're grateful for one blessing in particular: the men and women of the United States military. They've worn proudly the uniform of our country. They have offered their lives in our defense, and each year thousands more volunteer to join their noble ranks and to keep us safe.
"And so on this Thanksgiving, we keep their families and their loved ones in our prayers and in our thoughts," Bush said.
The turkeys chosen for this year's honor came from a farm in Dubois, Ind., according to the White House Web site, and were raised under the direction of National Turkey Federation Chairman Ted Seger.
After the Rose Garden ceremony, the turkeys will be flown first-class to Disney World in Orlando, Fla., where they will be the grand marshals of the Disney Thanksgiving Day Parade, the Web site said.
Afterward, they'll live at Mickey's Country House in Magic Kingdom Park.
"May they live the rest of their lives in blissful gobbling and may all Americans enjoy a holiday filled with love and peace," the president said.
You conservatives are in fact bunch of turkeys, PETA gonna kick your behind!
Hey! You guys took "turkey" and used another definition of it to make it an insult! Awesome!
That's funny. I've been naming our turkey George for years now.
Give thanks that a strong government has protected us for 6 years from the homeland terror of 9/11. Although we don't all agree with the actions of Mr. Bush, let us all at least agree that the traditional values of America's home like celebrating Thanksgiving are lauded by this man.
Maybe we should pardon them for war crimes. nah
Now if Bush would only pardon himself from the Oval Office, we'll all be as happy as those turkey's are.
I'm sure both of the turkeys were looking at Cheney thinking "Man, he ought to get his neck lifted."
"Bush pardons two turkeys" that includes Dick Cheney and Scooter Libby.
I am sorry I couldnt help myself that was just too easy.
I can think of two turkeys in particular that not only should they NOT be pardoned, but they should be the Main Course, roasted or better yet deep fried, with plenty of Congressional garnishes, and filled with as much stuffing as they have given us these last 7+ years...."Dubya" and "Dickie C", the chopping block is ready!!!!!!!!!!
U.S. (Uncle Sam) America
That's hillarious! I'm glad our President and Vice President have a sense of humor that makes their whining "politically correct" critics cringe.
I'm a liberal and I can't stand Bush and/or Cheney, but that was funny.
Even for something as stupid as this Cheney takes the low road. He probably nicknames the soldiers he meets "Cannon" and "Fodder".
President Bush needs to pardon the two border patrol officers he put in prison for trying to protect our country from a drug dealer. This is a mockery. A turkey pardoning turkeys
def. Turkey(n)= Bush + Cheney
Where is Ronald Reagan when you need him? He never would have gotten us into such a mess as these two have done.
It's not that liberals don't have a sense of humor. We just recognize a lame joke for what it is.
how about Bush get a grip and pardon Ramos and Campion?
I don't like many of the decisions Bush has made, but gheez. Lighten up!
Criticize the bad things and only the bad things. When you criticize everything, nobody will ever listen to your opinions with respect!
"The president then vowed to liberate the birds by dropping them from Air Force One and letting them fly to freedom.."
Absolutely pathetic that you Bush haters can not even embrace the spirit of Thanksgiving and the 60 year old tradition of pardoning a turkey. What? No mention of the MASS pardon of criminals by the Clinton administration? Please, please try to elevate yourselves above this petty political blind hatred and enjoy the holiday for once.
I find this funny that the White House can spend an afternoon pardoning a turkey, but then they turn around and blame congress with wasting time passing stupid resolutions about genocide and tourture...Seems to be a double standard if you ask me....
You all need a sense of humor and some serious help. Sam got it right. The border guards should be pardoned. FYI, no one fears PETA or any other leftwing group for that matter.
Oh geez, lighten up people. I'm surprised half of you haven't died from stress-related heart failure based on some of these comments. I don't like Bush either, but don't have an anyeurism over something as light hearted as a turkey naming ceremony.
... wow ... such an innocent story to bring out all the comments from the kooks suffering from bush-derangement-syndrome ...
President Bush: Please pardon Ramos and Compean, the two border patrol agents jailed for shooting at a drug dealer on the border. Their case will discourage people from applying for border patrol agent positions and we need better border security after 9/11.
CNN Anchor Lou Dobbs is actively reporting the two men's case. I hope their families can enjoy a happy thanksgiving with them, too.
Happy Thanksgiving to all!