Published November 20, 2007
WASHINGTON – It might be scant reward when so many of their brethren will fall, but two turkeys are heading to Disney World to live out their days in peace.
President Bush pardoned the two birds on Tuesday in the annual tradition that dates back to the Truman administration.
In the Rose Garden ceremony, Bush said the participants in a White House Web poll had picked "May" and "Flower" as the turkeys' names, and in turn ribbed his No. 2.
"They're certainly better than the names the vice president suggested -- which is 'Lunch' and 'Dinner," Bush said.
Bush also offered a message of thanks and charity, and took time to give recognition to members of the military and their families.
The national bird and its backup are from Indiana and each weighs about 45 pounds. They'll be spared a dinner table fate and then flown to Disney World in Florida, to live in Mickey Mouse's backyard at the Magic Kingdom.
Bush said the turkeys will serve as honorary grand marshals in the Thanksgiving Day parade there.
"May they live the rest of their lives in blissful gobbling, and may all Americans enjoy a holiday full of love and peace. God bless you all," Bush said.
Presidents since Truman have pardoned the birds. But the event has been updated in recent years to include a bird-naming contest, with votes cast on the White House Web site. Other name nominees this year were Wing and Prayer, Jake and Tom and Wish and Bone.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.