WASILLA - Gov. Sarah Palin performed the first pardon of her gubernatorial career Thursday.
With a gaggle of media looking on, Palin read a proclamation granting the short, white male his pardon just in time for Thanksgiving.
His crime: being tender, juicy and overall delicious.
Like many public figures nationwide - including the president of the United States - Palin performed the traditional ceremony of pardoning a turkey just before Thanksgiving.
The ceremony took place at the Triple D Farm in Wasilla, where a group of workers were busy carrying freshly killed and plucked turkeys in preparation for the holiday.
As his turkey pals - and maybe some family members - watched, the turkey Palin named Thanksgiving got a second chance at life.
He was pardoned just feet from a bloodied tub where Triple D employees worked to fill orders in time for Thanksgiving feasts next Thursday.
The governor's visit couldn't have come at a better time for the bird named Thanksgiving.
Anthony Schmidt, owner of Triple D, didn't mince words just before the pardon when talking about the good fortune one of his turkeys was about to have.
"One of these guys is a lucky dog," Schmidt said.
The practice of pardoning a turkey before Thanksgiving goes back generations and various presidents have given birds new leases on life.
Palin said she was grateful to have the chance to pardon at least one of Alaska's turkeys.
She began the ceremony in a stately voice: "We're gathered here today to spare the life of this turkey."
It's only fitting that a turkey be spared because it's the bird historical figure Benjamin Franklin proposed to be the nation's symbol, Palin said.
Of course, the bald eagle was chosen over the turkey, leading Palin to conclude that for Thanksgiving "one runner-up bird can be protected."
The ceremony didn't last long, and as Palin strode from the turkey pen, her newly pardoned friend clucked and strutted in front of her.
Palin said she's thankful this year that her son Track's Stryker Brigade in Iraq has been safe, her kids are doing well in school and she's back in Alaska.
Thanksgiving, the turkey, was noticeably thankful for the chance to live out his days somewhere other than a holiday dining table.
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