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Santa One' flies tonight in Operation Christmas Drop'

By Staff
Special from the North Pole
Dec. 24, 2001
It took an act of Congress to make Christmas happen this year, but Santa Claus feels confident he will be able to visit all the world's good girls and boys tonight.
Like Americans, the jolly old elf is heartsick over the tragedies at the World Trade Center and the Pentagon and has been forced to adapt his delivery plans to accommodate heightened security concerns.
In a video phone interview with The Meridian Star's editorial board from his workshop at the North Pole, Santa discussed his plans for roof-top visits tonight in Mississippi and Alabama, as well as elsewhere in the world.
Operation Christmas Drop'
Santa, hands-down the most well-connected man in the world, called in some old markers to solve his problem.
President Bush and Congress put together a special mission, "Operation Christmas Drop," to make sure Santa's sleigh gets through.
In this area, T45-Cs from Naval Air Station Meridian will pick Santa up at the Mississippi River and escort the sleigh until the Florida line where they will hand off to pilots from Naval Air Station Pensacola.
Always watching'
Santa also wanted to convey a message to The Meridian Star's readers both children and adults.
Pressed by frenzied, last-minute packing of Santa One and making sure the reindeer all have their pre-flight meal, Santa had time for only a few more words.
Ho, ho and ho!