|President Bush pets the
national Thanksgiving turkey Marshmallow during a ceremony pardoning the
turkey in the Old Executive Office Building, Tuesday, Nov. 22,
President Bush spared two turkeys from becoming
Thanksgiving dinner. Instead, the birds are going to Disneyland.
Thousands of people voted on the White House Web site to name the
national turkey "Marshmallow" and an alternate called "Yam."
At a ceremony Tuesday, Bush peered into
Marshmallow's eyes, stroked its white fluffy
feathers and patted its red head.
In years past, turkeys spared in presidential ceremonies were sent to
live at a local farm.
This year, the turkeys will be honorary grand marshals at Disneyland's
Thanksgiving Day Parade.
"I know Marshmallow and Yam are going to feel
pretty good strutting
around sunny California, remembering the cold days of Minnesota," Bush
The turkey ceremony, which usually is held in the Rose Garden, was
moved inside to the Eisenhower Executive Office Building.
Vice President Dick Cheney looked on as Bush talked of giving thanks
for the generosity extended to the victims of the Gulf Coast hurricanes
and for U.S. troops serving abroad.
"We think of our military families who will have an empty seat at the
table this Thanksgiving," he said.
Later in the day, Bush, his wife, Laura, and two daughters, Jenna and
Barbara, left to celebrate the holiday at their Texas ranch.
"Happy Thanksgiving," Bush called out as he headed across the South
Lawn to Marine One.
People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, which in the past has been
critical because presidential turkeys have been sent to a working farm
rather than an animal sanctuary, praised the decision to send them to