With bin Laden Dead, Teacher Shaves for First Time Since Sept. 11, 2001

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via KATU

Razors never looked so good as they did on Monday for Garry Weddle, a middle school teacher in Ephrata, Wash.

Having made a vow immediately following the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks not to shave until Osama bin Laden was captured or killed, Weddle has been waiting. And letting his grey beard get longer.

(More on TIME.com: See bin Laden’s obituary)

Weddle, a substitute teacher in 2001, was so struck by the tragedies he didn’t work much in the month after the attacks, instead spending time watching events related to the attack unfold. And letting his grey beard grow longer.

By the time he landed a full-time gig at Ephrata Middle School in Eastern Washington, he already had fashioned a 10-inch beard and used the bin Laden-like look as a reminder of the suffering of Sept. 11. It wasn’t always easy, with nearly 10 years of doubting he would ever be able to shave, the Associated Press reports. He endured ridicule and jokes for holding to his unshaven ways, but he stood by it, letting his grey beard get longer.

But that all ended with Sunday’s news and Monday’s razor as he was honored at his school for sticking to his vow of 3,545 shaveless days. Now the long grey beard is nothing more than a 10-year memory.

(More on TIME.com: bin Laden’s Final Resting Place)