Tuesday, May 24, 2016

U.S. Naval Academy: It's Herndon Climb Time!

(all photos by Dan Zak/Washington Post)

Ah yes, it's that time of the year when "Plebes," having reached the end of their first year at the U.S. Naval Academy in Annapolis must climb the lard-laden Herndon Monument and replace an underclassman’s hat at the top of the monument with an upperclassman’s hat.

Only then can they begin their summer.

Dan Zak reporting for the Washington Post:

Last year’s freshman class accomplished the feat in one hour, 38 minutes and 36 seconds.

Chris Bianchi, 19, made a solid run at the top shortly after the first boom of a cannon, signaling 30 minutes had passed.

The tattoo on his back honors his father Kevin, who graduated from the academy in 1985 and died in a helicopter crash in 2003, when Chris was 7 years old, according to the Navy Times.

But, like many before and after him, Chris took a tumble.

After the second boom of a cannon, signaling an hour, Bianchi made a second run at the top.

Bianchi hails from Virginia Beach, Va. His tattoo features his father’s name, the words “God,” “Family” and “Country,” and a chapter and verse from the Gospel of John (“Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends”). After a couple pushes, he nudged the upperclassman’s hat onto the top.

Bianchi, who is five-foot-three, celebrated before the fall back to Earth. The climb took one hour, 12 minutes and 30 seconds.

Team work!

Chris Bianchi reaches for the top of Herndon Monument


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