[Public Papers of the Presidents of the United States: George W. Bush (2005, Book II)]
[November 22, 2005]
[Pages 1760-1761]
[From the U.S. Government Publishing Office www.gpo.gov]

Remarks at the Thanksgiving Turkey Presentation Ceremony
November 22, 2005

    Thank you all. Welcome to the White House. Thank you for coming this 
afternoon. It's a pleasure to be able to introduce you, soon, to the 
National Thanksgiving Turkey. His name is Marshmallow. [Laughter] The 
alternative turkey's name is Yam. [Laughter] He's around here somewhere. 
He's not going to be in this room. He's in a pickup truck hanging out by 
the South Lawn. [Laughter]

    This is what we call--the White House is called the people's house, 
and we're going to call Marshmallow and Yam the people's turkeys. They 
made it here through a democratic process. There was a nationwide 
election on the White House web site. In the end, the voters made the 
choice, and it was a close election. You might say it was neck and neck. 
    I'm going to grant a pardon this afternoon, and the pardon I grant 
comes with a new measure of responsibility and fame for Marshmallow and 
Yam. In the past years, the turkeys I spared went on to lead lives of 
leisure at Frying Pan Park in the State of Virginia. This year is going 
to be a little different. Marshmallow and Yam were a little skeptical 
about going to a place called Frying Pan Park. I don't blame them. So 
I'm proud to announce that Marshmallow and Yam will serve as honorary 
grand marshals at Disneyland's Thanksgiving Day Parade. And they'll go 
on to spend the rest of their natural lives at Disneyland.
    The granting of the turkey pardon is not a responsibility that I 
take lightly, and I want to thank all of those who helped plan today's 
event. I appreciate the efforts of

[[Page 1761]]

those of you from the National Turkey Federation, especially Chairman 
Pete Rothfork and President Alice 
Johnson. Welcome. Glad you all are here. I 
want to thank James and Vicki Trites from Trites Farm in Henning, Minnesota. Where are they, 
the Trites? There they are, right there. Welcome. Thanks for coming. I 
know that Marshmallow and Yam are going to feel pretty good strutting 
around sunny California, remembering the cold days of Minnesota. 
[Laughter] Glad you all are here.
    We've also got some other special guests in the audience who 
exemplify the spirit of Thanksgiving. And those are the students from 
Clarksville Elementary School, from Clarksville, Maryland. Anybody here 
from Clarksville Elementary? Welcome. We're glad you're here. Thanks for 
coming. These students raised more than $17,000 for the Red Cross fund 
to benefit Hurricane Katrina victims. Thanks a lot for your hard work in 
helping somebody else. They're here with the assistant principal, Amy 
Green. I suspect some teachers and parents are 
here with them. Thank you all for teaching. Thanks for being good 
parents. Their compassion and dedication show the good heart of our 
country, and I'm proud you all are here at the White House.
    Thanksgiving is a holiday rooted in the American spirit of gratitude 
and sharing. We see this spirit in America today. When the communities 
along the gulf coast were devastated by Hurricane Katrina, Americans 
came together to provide help for their neighbors in need. It was a 
remarkable outpouring of compassion and generosity. That outpouring of 
compassion demonstrated once again that the great strength of our 
country lies in the hearts and souls of our citizens.
    We also give thanks on Thanksgiving for our many blessings, and we 
thank those who are far away from home who protect our freedoms. It's 
through the courage and skill of our Armed Forces that we're safe as a 
nation, and we're very proud of their service.
    We think of our military families who will have an empty seat at the 
table this Thanksgiving. The American people are thankful for the 
sacrifice of the American military families as well. America's men and 
women in uniform and their families have our gratitude, not only on 
Thanksgiving but on every day.
    Our guest of honor seems about ready to come on in and say hello. So 
without further ado, I grant Marshmallow and Yam a Presidential pardon. 
In the meantime, may God bless you all and your families during this 
Thanksgiving season.

Note: The President spoke at 1:11 p.m. in Presidential Hall at the 
Dwight D. Eisenhower Executive Office Building. The Thanksgiving Day 
proclamation of November 18 is listed in Appendix D at the end of this