47th Annual National Thanksgiving Turkey presentation

47th Annual National Thanksgiving Turkey presentation  (1994) 
by Bill Clinton

23 November 1994

It's nice to see all of you here. I want to especially welcome the fifth graders from Murch Elementary School. I'm glad you're here and hope you're having a good time. And I'm glad the Sun is shining down at least on some of you. I want to thank Larry Fanella, the chairman of the National Turkey Federation, and say a special word of thanks to Robert Strickler and to Shawn Arbogast, the 10–year-old boy who raised this year's turkey in Dayton, Virginia. Let's give him a hand.

Tomorrow we'll all celebrate Thanksgiving. It's an opportunity and a responsibility for all of us to give thanks for our many blessings in this life, to appreciate the good things we have in this country, and to think about those who still live among our ranks who don't have the things that many of us take for granted. In a few hours, Hillary and I will visit "So Others Might Eat," a local soup kitchen, to help prepare Thanksgiving dinner for some of Washington's less fortunate families. I think that this is an important time for all of us to think about the larger American community of which we are a part.

The very presence of these children from schools and the different walks of life and backgrounds from which they come reminds us that this has always been a country of great diversity, and the great strength of America is that we offer an opportunity for all different kinds of people to live up to the fullest of their God-given capacities. We can only do that if we're committed to creating a stronger and better American community every day. That is the commitment of our administration. That is the commitment of the public education movement in this country. That is the commitment of everybody devoted to the idea that every child can learn and that we can all do better if we work together.

So I would like to leave you with that thought on this Thanksgiving. And now I want to accept the turkey, and a lot of you know this already, but this will be the second official Presidential pardon of my administration. I granted one to a turkey last year. Unlike the 45 million American turkeys who will make the supreme sacrifice this Thanksgiving for the rest of us, this turkey will retire to Kidwell Farms, a replica of the 1930's working farm in Frying Pan Park in northern Virginia. So I'm glad I can make at least one turkey happy this year.

Thank you very much.