EPHRATA, Wash. (AP) -- A middle school teacher in Ephrata, Wash., vowed after the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, that he would not shave his beard until Osama bin Laden was caught.
Gary Weddle shaved his lengthy beard off on Monday.
School principal Jill Palmquist honored Weddle on Monday, telling students they should admire the teacher for sticking to his vow not to shave for 3,454 days. Weddle's stringy, gray beard came to resemble bin Laden's beard.
Palmquist said Weddle endured ridicule, jokes and people telling him it was a lost cause.
An elite crew of American forces killed bin Laden during a daring raid on Monday, capping the world's most intense manhunt. He was the mastermind of the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks.