This post was written by Kip Morse, your BBB Serving Central Ohio's President and CEO.
During a past DC trip, I had the opportunity to go through the FBI Citizens Academy, the training facility at Quantico, and the FBI headquarters. The ultimate goal was to gain a better understanding of what the FBI does, doesn't do, and to better prepare to develop relationships that will protect our consumers, businesses, and citizens in Central Ohio.
I had hoped to soon engage the local office of the FBI to help us with our new educational initiative "Keeping Kids Safe Online".
However, it was a trip to the Capitol Building that was the capstone of my few days in Washington.
Our agent representative set up a special tour of the nation’s Capitol Building conducted by a young police officer who was well respected and passionate about the history and meaning of our Constitution.
As we entered a hall, he asked us all to gather around a plaque on the wall. He shared a story about the only two deaths of police officers ever in the protection of the Capitol Building from a shooter, as they manned their posts. The first officer, Jacob Chestnut, had the door post and was shot and killed immediately. The second man, John Gibson, was responsible for the protection of the Majority Whip, Tom Delay, whose office was around the corner. Gibson secured the office staff, locked the door, and stood guard as the shooter rounded the corner and engaged him in a gun battle within seven feet of each other. The shooting lead to the death of Gibson, and the shooter was then shot and tackled. (FBI agents train heavily for seven-to-ten feet battles, for many of them are of this distance.)
Our young officer/tour guide then took a deep breath and shared that this story means a lot to him because the officer that died protecting our Capitol was his dad. John Gibson died in 1998, when our guide was only 15 years old.
“Okay,” I thought, “Now I am starting to put the pieces together. Passion, intensity, character, and leadership, all coming from this 30-year-old were making sense.”
I reflected on our BBB leadership character code UncommonSense, and read the principle on Trustworthiness:
“High character people are true to their beliefs. They strive to be what they say they are and their behavior matches their beliefs. They actively self-reflect, and know who they are and what they stand for. Their actions are consistent with their beliefs, and they strive to do "what is right or wise" rather than "what might work or be popular." They seek wisdom first, and then consistently apply it to themselves and as a result can be trusted within their organizations, marriages, families, fellowships, friendships, teams, etc.”
The principle is why John Gibson’s son stood out as Uncommon. He learned to do what is right and not necessarily what is popular. He was also passionate about passing on the wisdom he learned from understanding the importance of protecting our Nation’s Capitol, and the history of the Constitution, all while making his father proud.
Thank you Mr. Gibson, for you made this trip truly remarkable. And thank you John Gibson, for raising such a valuable son and protecting our freedom.