Gary Weddle, a middle school teacher in Ephrata, Wash., shaved for the first time in nearly 10 years on Sunday night, according to numerous news reports.
Shortly after the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, Weddle vowed not to shave until Osama bin Laden was captured or killed. He thought that would be a matter of a couple of months. Alas, his beard eventually grew to 14 inches at some points, giving him, as the Huffington Post remarks, a distinct ZZ Top look.
At the start of each school year, Weddle would explain to his new class of students that his ungainly facial hair was a sign of rememberance.
On Monday, the principal of Weddle’s school publicly honored him, telling students he should be commended for his resolve and commitment to those who lost their lives.
Weddle’s wife is reportedly very happy, too.
A version of this news article first appeared in the Teaching Now blog.