President Obama pardons 2 turkeys for Thanksgiving

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(AP) - With a wave of his hand, President BarackObama on Wednesday gave two plump turkeys a Thanksgiving reprieve,noting that without his intervention, "they'd end up next to themashed potatoes and stuffing." The official national Thanksgiving turkey is a 19-week-old,45-pound bird named Liberty. Its alternate, also spared, is aturkey of the same age and size named Peace. Liberty sat calmly as Obama, accompanied by daughters Sasha andMalia, offered a blessing, his hand over the turkey's head. Obamasaid Liberty had the distinction of being "the luckiest bird onthe face of the earth." "Right now, he's also probably one of the most confused,"Obama said. Obama jokingly cast his pardon as yet another of his "We Can'tWait" initiatives. "Recently, I've been taking a series ofexecutive actions that don't require congressional approval," thepresident said. "Well, here's another one. We can't wait to pardonthese turkeys." In a more sober tone, Obama called on Americans to remember themeaning of Thanksgiving and to be mindful of those who have less. "Let's think about those who can't spend the holiday with theirloved ones, especially the members of our military servingoverseas," he said. "I'd like to thank all our men and women inuniform, and their families, for their incredible service anddevotion." Liberty and Peace were selected from among 30 turkeys raised andgroomed by student members of the Future Farmers of America inWillmar, Minn., for a potential presidential amnesty.

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