Freedom for Liberty and Bell as U.S. President Biden grants Thanksgiving turkey pardons

Liberty and Bell can count their lucky stars they won’t be featured on any Thanksgiving table this year.

The pair of turkeys was pardoned at the White House Monday as part of the American Thanksgiving tradition, which goes back generations.

And, U.S. President Joe Biden granted Liberty and Bell stays of execution on the South Lawn as he also celebrated his 81st birthday.

“These birds have a new appreciation for the words, ‘Let freedom ring,’” Biden told onlookers, including children, staff and other officials.

Lore of the turkey pardon goes back as far as the Abraham Lincoln administration. Photo: White House/X

Liberty weighs 42.5 pounds, and Bell tips the scale at 42.1 pounds.

“That’s a big bird, man. I’m impressed,” Biden said during the ceremony. “I hereby pardon Liberty and Bell. Congratulations, birds.”

The first documented turkey pardon goes back to 1963 with John F. Kennedy. Photo: White House/X

Liberty and Bell hatched in July birds and were raised by Jennie-O in Willmar, Minnesota.

Steve Lykken, National Turkey Federation, told media the birds were chosen for their extroverted behaviour and were prepped for the sights and sounds of the ceremony.

The birds, he said, were “absolutely ready for prime time.”

Way to go, Liberty and Bell! Photo: White House/X

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