Hundreds of North Ogden, Utah, residents gathered Wednesday evening to pay tribute to their mayor, Brent Taylor, who was killed last week in Afghanistan. According to the Herald Journal, Taylor was killed during an insider attack while serving in the U.S. Army National Guard in Kabul, Afghanistan.
The 38-year-old mayor had been helping to train members of the Afghan security forces and was on his fourth deployment to the Middle East. He was fatally shot by an Afghan commando he’d been training. He leaves behind his wife, Jennie Taylor, and seven young children.
The community gathered outside Weber High School in North Ogden and walked with candles to the mayor’s home. Neighbors have been showering Taylor’s family with love and support and say they will continue to assist the family through this incredibly difficult time. Neighbor Jeri Gale said that this was the least they could do after all the mayor had done for the community. Prior to him taking the position, there was unrest and division in local politics. Taylor had a way of bringing people together for good.
“That’s what he would do for us, if the tables were turned; he would be there to help with our kids. It’s the least we could do,” Gale said.
We mourn the loss of a remarkable leader and hero. Please make note of Mayor Taylor’s thoughts on not taking our freedoms for granted, and that there is “far more that unites us than divides us.” My heart is with his family. https://t.co/WA8u5dFIIi
— Jenny Wilson for UT (@JennyWilsonUT) November 3, 2018
Other members of the community recalled fond memories of the mayor, one remembering how he was always down to have fun when the time was right. Taylor once made an appearance at a Halloween party at a local church. He was dressed in full costume as a sheriff, but refused to carry a gun as part of his ensemble. He believed it wasn’t right to bring even a fake gun into a church.
Taylor had never been one to sit on the sidelines, he liked to stay busy helping others in any way he could. This even meant being one of the first people to arrive bright and early the morning after the Fourth of July to begin cleaning up the fireworks from the night before.
Taylor’s grieving family thanks the community for the outpouring of support they’ve shown them. Even in their pain they know that Brent’s ultimate sacrifice was made out of love for his country.
“As one of many, many military families to give the ultimate sacrifice we also want to express our love for this great nation and the pride that we feel knowing that Brent gave his life in service to his country,” they said in a public statement.