Navy plebes scale Herndon Monument in record time
(Video by the Associated Press)
As they have for 70 years, Navy freshmen -- known as plebes -- celebrated the end of their grueling first year at the U.S. Naval Academy by scaling a 21-foot obelisk. They did it a lot faster than usual this year without 200 pounds of lard coating the monument.
A plebe reached the top of the obelisk Monday afternoon in two minutes, five seconds. No one was injured. No one even got particularly dirty. The sense of collective letdown might have been captured best in the words scrawled onto one midshipman's T-shirt: "Where's the grease?"
As colleague Daniel de Vise reports today, Vice Adm. Jeffrey Fowler instructed the midshipmen not to grease the obelisk this year. It was a gesture of his dissatisfaction with an event that, for all its rich, greasy history, has raised safety concerns with academy leaders. In 2008, four midshipmen sustained injuries in the climb serious enough for ambulance trips to the hospital. All four recovered.
| May 25, 2010; 9:30 AM ET
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Posted by: navy8209 | May 25, 2010 11:46 AM | Report abuse
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