SAM FORD, WJLA
WASHINGTON (WJLA) - Every December, a parade of police officers come to the Hillcrest home of Brian Gibson's mom for a Christmas dinner. In 1997, Officer Gibson was stopped at a red light in his cruiser when a cop-hating gunman killed him at random. He was 27-years-old.
His mother, Shirley Gibson, decided not to be bitter.
"...Brian loved to eat, and I couldn't figure out what I was going to do for the holidays not being able to cook for my child," Shirley said.
So 15 years ago, she started cooking holiday dinners for his colleagues.
The place is packed all day with officers coming and going. Some sitting at the tables; some receiving a carry-out.
"She's the greatest mom...our mother," said one of the officers.
The meal is a special for others as well. Brianna Gibson, Brian's daughter, was 13-months-old when her father was killed. Cooking out back was Oliver Smith, Sr., whose son, Oliver Smith, Jr., was killed by cop-haters weeks after Brian was ambushed.
"I met a guy who worked with my son, and they share another story," Oliver said. "That's like to gift to me and my family."
For them, it means their loved one has not been forgotten.
Shirley added, "This is what makes our Christmas. For us to be able to have the officers come to our house with their uniforms on and their service weapons on the side and to be able to give them a hug, it feels a lot like Brian."