NORTH OGDEN — It’s been just over a week since Mayor Brent Taylor was killed while serving our country in Afghanistan. On Sunday night, the community of North Ogden rallied together for a special Veteran’s Day vigil in his honor.
Hundreds of people turned out for the memorial service at the North Ogden amphitheater. The vigil was held to pay tribute to all veterans, but especially Taylor, the city’s mayor.
Brent Chugg, who was named interim mayor when Taylor was deployed, spoke at the service.
“While my feet will never fill the shoes of this great man, I’ve learned a lot from him as a friend, as a leader and as a warrior,” said Chugg.
Taylor’s wife, Jennie, also spoke to the hundreds of attendees, calling her husband a true patriot and saying she knew about his desire to serve his country since their very first date.
“Throughout our courtship, it came to be a common theme of service to our country,” said Jennie. “He truly felt compelled to do this. He was born to do this. He was born to be a part of this great American story.”
In January, Taylor took an unprecedented leave of absence from his post as mayor of North Ogden to serve in Afghanistan as a major with Utah’s Army National Guard. He was killed in an apparent insider attack on Nov. 3.
Jennie says she and their seven children are coping the best they can.
“I think to be honest, we’re still mostly in shock. We’ve just been inundated with so much love and outpouring of affection and charity and well-wishers,” Jennie said.
She spoke to the large crowd at Sunday’s vigil to say thank you for their love and support.
“To me this vigil means there is still goodness and patriotism in America,” she said. “There is still that love for fellow men.”
And the crowd said thank you right back to Mayor Taylor and for his ultimate sacrifice.