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Pickering: Nation will meet tests

By Staff
NAVY BALL Air Traffic Controller 3rd Class Douglas P. Davis and Amber Taylor, foreground, dance at the 2001 Navy Ball, along with Aviation Storekeeper 1st Class Earl Pitt and Cindy Pitt, left, and Disbursing Clerk Seaman Brian Martin and Michelle Martin. Photo by Paula Merritt/The Meridian Star
By Sheila Blackmon/The Meridian Star
Oct. 21, 2001
While the threat of anthrax is an ongoing concern, the nation will ultimately overcome its adversaries, U.S. Rep. Chip Pickering said Saturday.
Pickering spoke about anthrax threats and the country's war on terrorism in an interview before Saturday night's 2001 Navy Birthday Ball honoring personnel at Naval Air Station Meridian, where he was a guest of honor.
Children and families across the country want to know if we are safe, he said, and the challenge is making sure we can tell them that "we're doing everything possible to make sure their world is secure … that we can answer their questions and resume the daily routines, rhythms and rituals that give us both the comfort and the courage to make sure we never lose those daily freedoms."
Congress is passing legislation to strengthen anti-terrorism laws and give law enforcement and intelligence agencies the ability "to deter, dismantle and eventually destroy terrorist organizations and networks … ."
The theme of this year's Navy ball, held at Northwood Country Club and celebrating the U.S. Navy's 226th birthday, was "Remembering Why We Serve."
Capt. Jeffrey Dickman, NAS Meridian's commanding officer, attended his first Navy ball in Meridian, having served the base for not quite three months.
Dickman spoke of the lighter side of the annual birthday celebration.
Sheila Blackmon is a staff writer for The Meridian Star. Call her at 693-1551, ext. 3275, or e-mail her at
Marine Maj. Theodore S. Johnson and Lt. David A. Pearce were named the 2001 Flight Instructors of the Year, and Aviation Storekeeper 1st Class Hector Perez was named the 2001 Naval Technical Training Center Instructor of the Year and the 2001 NTTC Sailor of the Year.