ANNAPOLIS, Md. (WJZ)— It’s time for the annual Herndon Monument climb.

Jessica Kartalija was there as the US Naval Academy class of 2016 attacked the monument.

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They did really well climbing a 21-foot obelisk. The upperclassmen coated it in lard. Midshipmen say there was no place else in the world they’d rather be.

It was a hot and humid day, plebes became midshipmen.

“It’s been a long time coming,” said one proud parent. “He loves this stuff.”

The climb to the top was hard-fought.

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“People fell down. It feels good when the water falls on you,” said one former plebe.

“It’s been the toughest year of my life,” said another.

They chanted “Plebes no more” in triumph.

The soon-to-be sophomores will be called “Youngsters” or “third class Midshipmen.”

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The longest Herndon climb was in 1998. It took four hours, five minutes and 17 seconds.