[Public Papers of the Presidents of the United States: William J. Clinton (1994, Book II)]
[November 23, 1994]
[Pages 2123-2124]
[From the U.S. Government Publishing Office www.gpo.gov]

Remarks and an Exchange With Reporters at the Thanksgiving
Turkey Presentation Ceremony
November 23, 1994

    The President. Well, good morning.
    Audience members. Good morning!
    The President. 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. [Applause]
    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 
    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. [Laughter]
    Thank you very much.
    Are we going to let the kids come up and see the turkey?
    Q. Mr. President, what do you have to be thankful for this year?

[[Page 2124]]

    The President. A lot, but let me just--I'll mention two things. One 
is there's more than 5 million Americans more who have jobs, and who 
therefore can afford to have Thanksgiving, this Thanksgiving than there 
were two Thanksgivings ago, right after I was elected. And I'm very 
thankful for that. And I'm very thankful for the opportunity that my 
family and I have been given to get up here every day and work on the 
problems and the opportunities of this country. Those are the two things 
that I feel very grateful for.
    Q. When are you going to Camp David?
    The President. When am I going? Tonight when Chelsea gets home from 
her activities. We're going up late tonight.

Note: The President spoke at 10:10 a.m. in the Rose Garden at the White 
House. In his remarks, he referred to Robert Strickler, assistant to the 
general manager, Rocco Turkeys, Inc.