Following is a list of the finalists with a brief rationale for each of the names. The list is not arranged in any particular order.
Lewis and Clark. This is the 200th anniversary of the Louisiana Purchase and the launch of Lewis and Clarks journey to explore the new territory. The expedition effectively opened the American West. Additionally, Lewis and Clarks main task was to explore the Missouri River westward from St. Louis, and this years National Thanksgiving Turkey and its alternate are from Missouri.
Plymouth and Mayflower. Plymouth was the colony where the First Thanksgiving was celebrated almost 400 years ago, and the Mayflower was the ship that brought the Pilgrims to Plymouth. These names underscore the traditions of Thanksgiving and remind us that Thanksgiving was the first uniquely American holiday.
Harvest and Bounty. Thanksgiving began as a celebration of the harvest. The Pilgrims and Native Americans conducted the first Thanksgiving to give thanks to God for the bounty they enjoyed in their new land. Nearly 400 years later, the basic meaning of the holiday is unchanged.
Hope and Glory. Americans always have been filled with hope for our nations future and appreciative of its glorious history. These names would allow us to celebrate the American spirit during this holiday season.
Pumpkin and Cranberry. While the turkey always will be at the center of Thanksgiving, we enjoy a rich and wide variety of foods during the traditional meal. These names are a fun and lighthearted reminder of all we enjoy about the season.
Stars and Stripes. These probably do not need much explanation, but we collectively suggest this as a way to honor our troops during this holiday.