Correspondence with World Leaders
Turkey Pardon at the White House
By USA News Group (Originally in English)
Partaking in an annual tradition, the
newly re-elected U.S. President Mr. Barack Obama pardoned two turkeys
in the White House Rose Garden on the day before the Golden Year 9 (2012)
Thanksgiving holiday. The public was given the chance to choose between
two birds named Cobbler and Gobbler via Facebook for the 65th anniversary
of the National Thanksgiving Turkey Presentation. While Cobbler was chosen,
the President decided to spare Gobbler as well.
Joined by his daughters Sasha and Malia,
President Obama announced,
“They say that life is all about second chances. And this November,
I could not agree more. So in the spirit of the season, I have one more
gift to give, and it goes to a pair of turkeys named Cobbler and Gobbler.
The American people have spoken, and these birds are moving forward.”
Cobbler and Gobbler grew up on the same farm and will happily live out
their lives at George Washington’s Mount Vernon Estate and Garden
in Virginia, USA.
practice of unofficial presidential turkey pardoning is reported to date
back to the days of President Abraham Lincoln, with Presidents John F.
Kennedy, Richard Nixon and others also sparing the lives of turkeys in
the ensuing years. However, the first official Thanksgiving pardon was
given to a turkey by President George H.W. Bush in 1989.
Commending this merciful act as well
as his efforts to bring peace to Gaza and comfort those in the eastern
US affected by Hurricane Sandy, Supreme Master Ching Hai wrote the following
letter to President Obama on November 22, Golden Year 9 (2012).
His Excellency Barack Obama
President of the United States of America
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW
Washington, D.C. 20500-0001
Respected Mr. President:
I’m so happy to write you
this letter. Although I’m just an honorary U.S. citizen
and not officially an American, I am so very proud of you, a humane
and caring president.
I thank you for your compassion,
and for setting a shining, noble example for the nation and the
world. Since coming into office, you have expanded the annual
presidential act of showing mercy to turkeys from one to two birds,
this year being the lovely Cobbler and Gobbler. Your gesture speaks
profoundly of kindness and respect for life. During your speech,
Cobbler was even cooing songs singing your praise and thanking
God in front of the whole world and cameras. And I’m sure
that even if you don’t speak “turkish,” you
know that he thanks you.
I also would like to thank you
and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton together with President
Mohamed Morsi for your crucial roles in brokering the ceasefire
in Gaza, which will save countless lives including innocent children
and women, who, as Secretary Clinton stated, deserve the chance
to live free of fear and violence. Your dedicated efforts also
raise the promise of lasting stability in the region.
In addition, you even went back
to New York almost immediately after you were re-elected to comfort
and encourage the victims of Hurricane Sandy, and to reiterate
your promise to help with the rebuilding process. That shows just
how genuine your concern is as a leader not for the votes, but
rather for the well-being of your co-citizens.
These symbolic acts of compassion
surely touched Heaven, and Heaven will pardon humans for many
incorrect doings. With every such benevolent act, you bring us
closer to the time when all beings may give thanks for the blessings
of living a peaceful life.
Supreme Master Ching Hai
P.S. In furthering your goodness,
we will contribute US$50,000 to the non-kill animal shelters in
New York for the homeless and troubled animals in the wake of
Hurricane Sandy (in support of the President’s kindness
toward Gobbler and Cobbler) — for the humans, I have already
sent some material and emotional comfort. Thank you again for
reminding the world to be loving and kind.