On Tuesday, almost seven years after Gordon was killed on duty by a drunken driver, his family and police gathered once again in the community to dedicate a street in his honor.
"It's been very hard these past seven years, but it's been a great honor for us," said Gordon's mother, Carol Gordon, at the unveiling of the honorary sign at Leamington Avenue and 51st Street.
Gordon and Officer John Dalcason were patrolling the Harrison District in August 2004 when a drunken driver ran a red light and his vehicle struck their car. Gordon, 30, was killed, leaving behind a wife, infant daughter, two sons and a stepson.
Gordon "was always there to back everybody up," said John McKenna, a Chicago police officer who served with him.
Ald. Michael Zalewski, 23rd, said the community should appreciate what police officers do.
"They're on the job 24 hours a day, seven days a week," Zalewski said.
Gordon was the future of the department, said Chicago police Capt. Gerry Carroll. Carroll testified in Springfield with Gordon's father to push for the Michael Gordon Law, enacted in 2006, which enhanced penalties for DUI convictions.
Michael Gordon and his family "are the best things about the city of Chicago," Carroll said.
Gordon came from a family of police officers. He took a $15,000 pay cut to join the Chicago force in 2002, after working in Riverside, where he won awards for his service. Gordon started his police career as a military officer attached to the Army's 82nd Airborne Division.
Gordon always wanted to be an officer, his mother said.
"He loved every minute of it," she said. "This was the job he loved, the job he wanted to be at."