Statement by President Biden at the National Turkey Pardon Ceremony

Seeing everyone is a delight.  The morning is pleasant.  I am delighted to extend a warm welcome to the most recent round of our cherished White House Thanksgiving custom.  Indeed, it is.

Children and their families from my staff and Cabinet are among the privileged visitors here today.  Are you all okay?  Keep shouting.  A round of applause.  Well, that's all.  All right.

Steve Lykken, chairman of the National Turkey Federation, and his entire family, whom I had the pleasure of meeting, also deserve my gratitude.  My birthday is today, and they may celebrate by singing "Birthday" to me.  A round of applause.

On their Minnesota farm, his entire family reared these birds.  Steve, you and your entire family have our deepest gratitude.  What a lovely family you have.  It is really appreciated.

I visited another family farm in Minnesota a few weeks ago and talked about the pride of small towns and rural communities, how people are proud to know they can stay there and keep their farms, and how our investments are restoring hope and opportunity so children don't have to leave home to make a living.

The national turkey presentation and pardon symbolize the unofficial start of the Thanksgiving season in Washington, a time to celebrate, give thanks, and have fun.

The Turkey Federation of Liberty Bell and Liberty and Bell enjoy Honeycrisp apples, so that's OK, right? 1,000 [10,000] Lakes, the Mall of America, and ice hockey—I would die to see them play.  (Applause.)

Finally, on a serious note, Thanksgiving is a moment to remember how much we have to be grateful for as a nation, something we sometimes forget.

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