Utah Mayor Killed in Afghanistan
The mayor of a Utah town who temporarily stepped down in January to deploy with the U.S. National Guard overseas has been killed in an apparent “insider attack” in Kabul, Afghanistan.
Former North Ogden, Utah Mayor Brent Taylor died Saturday, North Ogden City Councilman Phillip Swanson confirmed. Another service member was injured during the attack.
"Brent had a profound influence on this community,” read a statement from North Ogden City Hall. “He was the best of men with the ability to see potential and possibility in everything around him. We feel blessed to have had him as our mayor. Everywhere you look in North Ogden you can see his profound influence.”
Taylor was a husband and father of seven children who had previously served two tours in Iraq and one tour in Afghanistan. He was first elected to the Council in 2009 and had served as mayor of North Ogden since 2013. He planned to return to city government after his tour was over.
Condolences have poured in from public officials across the United States.
"Brent was a hero, a patriot, a wonderful father, and a dear friend. News of his death in Afghanistan is devastating. My prayers and love are with Jennie and his 7 young children. His service will always be remembered," said U.S. Senator from Utah Orin Hatch.
Former presidential candidate and U.S. Senate candidate Mitt Romney also paid his respects, saying he was “heartbroken” by the news of Taylor’s death.
Even Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti reached out via Twitter, writing “Rest in peace, brother. Your city and your nation are better because of your service.”
Taylor's love of country was on clear display in his very last social media post in which he urged his fellow Americans, regardless of party, to vote in Tuesday's elections.
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.
Taylor’s attacker is believed to be a member of the Afghan National Defense and Security Forces and is now deceased, according to the NATO-led Resolute Support Coalition. An investigation into the ambush is underway.