On Veterans Day, Easton's Gibson Family Remembers Fallen Brother
Forty-three years after his death, family hasn't forgotten Easton Area High School's first casualty of Vietnam War.
Pat Gibson's house on Berwick Street in Easton is a home of many shrines.
Pictures of her six grandchildren wallpaper her refrigerator. The walls show other family photos, even an old black and white one showing Gibson as a member of Easton's fledgling high school track team.
And among all this, there's Terry.
William Terry Gibson was the brother of Pat's husband. Terry died in 1968 at age 18 while serving with the U.S. Marines in Vietnam.
He was Easton Area High School's first student killed in Vietnam, Pat Gibson said. His death stunned the city.
"This guy was a guy who had a smile of gold," she said. "He'd give you the shirt off his back."
Her husband, Larry, can't talk about his brother. He joined the Army in 1969, Gibson said, a 17-year-old hoping to go to Vietnam and recover his older brother's remains. Losing his brother, and his time in Vietnam, have shaken him. So it's fallen to Pat to speak for her brother-in-law.
It isn't as though he was a stranger to her. They grew up together in the Delaware Terrace housing project. She lived on E. Lincoln Street; the Gibsons were on Charles.
Terry Gibson arrived in South Vietnam on June 9 that year, and was killed in battle nine days later. Before he left Easton, he carved his name into the door of a closet in his family's home, along with the words "Never forget me."
And that's been Pat Gibson's mission. Today, on Veterans Day, she'll bring a series of homemade posters honoring Terry's memory to Wilson Elementary School.
In September, she marked what would have been Terry's 62nd birthday by placing 62 flags outside the Easton Boys and Girls Club's South Side headquarters.
Some day, she hopes to see a permanent memorial in Neston Heights, the new development that replaced Delaware Terrace. Easton has kept Terry Gibson's memory alive in other ways; there's a wrestling award given every year in his honor.
"It's starting to keep his dream alive," Pat Gibson said. "'Never forget me.' It's working."