North Ogden City in Utah recently lost their mayor, and people are heartbroken.
Brent Taylor was many things. He was the 17th Mayor of North Ogden City, Utah, the husband to Jennie Ashworth Taylor and the father of 7 children, and a Major with the Utah National Guard.
In January, Taylor was deployed to Afghanistan. He took a year-long leave of absence as mayor to serve in Afghanistan and expected to return home in just a few months.
Brent Taylor was in Kabul, Afghanistan to help train and build the Afghan national army. On Saturday, November 3, he was fatally shot by one of the trainees. The attacker was then killed by Afghan Forces.
During a press conference, Governor of Utah, Gary Herbert, emotionally told reporters that Taylor had already been deployed 3 times and was discouraged from deploying for a 4th.
"[Brent Taylor was told] 'You've done enough. You've done your part.' And yet, he wanted to go back... because he thought he could do some good in Afghanistan, to help the people be liberated."
Previously, however, Taylor had committed to serving God, his family, and his country.
"While I am far from perfect in any of these respects. I have given my life to serve all three of these loyalties whenever and however I can."
Governor Herbert also took to Twitter to describe Major Taylor as the "personification of love".
I am heartbroken at the loss of Major Brent Taylor. Our deepest condolences and constant prayers are with his wife… https://t.co/hS2uh8A3eI— Gary R. Herbert (@Gary R. Herbert) 1541359237.0
Major General Jefferson S. Burton of the Utah National Guard also spoke about the heartbreak of Taylor's death.
"Knowing Brent Taylor, he was a bridge builder and a man who made friends and just loved people. So this makes it additionally bitter for us. It's bitter because he was with folks he was helping... and that's what was so ultimately painful about this."
Other political figures have also shared their grief on Twitter.
I hate this. I’m struggling for words. I love Mayor Taylor, his amazing wife Jennie and his 7 sweet kids. Utah weep… https://t.co/IQbHByRhwV— Spencer Cox (@Spencer Cox) 1541286629.0
Heartbroken with the tragic news of Major Brent Taylor’s death by gunfire in Afghanistan; a father of 7 small child… https://t.co/nW3RZs2ysY— Mitt Romney (@Mitt Romney) 1541288918.0
Kay and I are praying for Major Brent Taylor, his wife, Jennie, and their children. His commitment to service is an… https://t.co/ttsfeTyEko— Sen. Jim Inhofe (@Sen. Jim Inhofe) 1541361286.0
People everywhere are saddened by Taylor's tragic death.
@MikeLMower My heart is breaking for this family. I offer my deepest condolences and love to the family.— Sandi Tavolario (@Sandi Tavolario) 1541293644.0
@MittRomney @prchovanec RIP. I hope we leave Afghanistan soon.— Atomic Mullah (@Atomic Mullah) 1541289893.0
@SpencerJCox I grew up in North Ogden and my parents still live there. I was there today when we heard the news. I'… https://t.co/BLRqERynPK— Abbie Twingstrom (@Abbie Twingstrom) 1541292560.0
@SpencerJCox My heart is breaking for his family— Jesi Fiso (@Jesi Fiso) 1541299060.0
@GovHerbert @jasoninthehouse This Californian mourns the loss of a great man in Major Taylor, too....— Bruce Smith (@Bruce Smith) 1541366118.0
@amybwang This is extremely sad and horrible.— Chester ,Max and Sonia (@Chester ,Max and Sonia) 1541382208.0
@KOAA RIP Very sad news.— Bob Marsdale (@Bob Marsdale) 1541383409.0
@sltrib This is devastating news to everyone who knew and admired Brent Taylor, including his colleagues in the Dep… https://t.co/MgYwYvjtIr— Mark E. Button (@Mark E. Button) 1541283112.0
Not even one week before his death, Brent Taylor took to Facebook to share how moving it was to see the people of Afghanistan vote despite threats. He also encouraged his fellow Americans to take advantage of that very right in tomorrow's election.
"Freedom: Millions Defy Taliban and Vote in Afghan Elections
The secret to happiness is freedom… And the secret to freedom is courage." – Thucydides
"In the truest sense, freedom cannot be bestowed; it must be achieved." – Franklin D. Roosevelt
It was beautiful to see over 4 million Afghan men and women brave threats and deadly attacks to vote in Afghanistan's first parliamentary elections in eight years. The strong turnout, despite the attacks and challenges, was a success for the long-suffering people of Afghanistan and for the cause of human freedom. I am proud of the brave Afghan and US soldiers I serve with. Many American, NATO allies, and Afghan troops have died to make moments like this possible; for example, my dear friend Lieutenant Kefayatullah who was killed fighting the Taliban the day before voting began. 🇦🇫️
As the USA gets ready to vote in our own election next week, I hope everyone back home exercises their precious right to vote. And that whether the Republicans or the Democrats win, that we all remember that we have far more as Americans that unites us than divides us. "United we stand, divided we fall." God Bless America. 🇺🇲️👊🏻"