It’s official, President Joe Biden has carried out the tradition of pardoning two turkeys for Thanksgiving, choosing a pair of birds from the Midwest.
The two turkeys from Willmar, Minnesota’s Jennie-O company, will live to see another day.
“I hereby pardon Liberty and Bell,” Biden said during the event on the White House lawn.
The president shared more about the birds, noting their love for honey crisp apples, ice hockey, and the Mall of America.
“I sure as hell would love to see them play ice hockey,” Biden quipped.
Biden joked about the turkeys’ names during the event, noting that while they are from Minnesota, their name comes from Philadelphia’s iconic Liberty Bell.
“These birds have a new appreciation of the [phrase], ‘let freedom ring,’” Biden said while laughing.
Sparing the turkey is a longstanding tradition for United States presidents that goes back to 1963 with the first pardon from former President John F. Kennedy. However, the trend didn’t catch on and became an annual event until 1989 with former President George H.W. Bush.
But what happens after the birds are pardoned?
Depending on where they are from, the birds typically go back to their home state.
As for Liberty and Bell, the turkeys will retire to the University of Minnesota’s College of Food, Agricultural, and Natural Resource Sciences in St. Paul now that their star-studded weekend in Washington is over.