N. Ogden Mayor Brent Taylor Reluctantly Became Part of City’s ‘Heroes Boulevard’
NORTH OGDEN, Utah – A makeshift memorial, below a banner bearing Mayor Brent Taylor’s name and picture, continues to grow. Taylor, however, initially didn’t want to become a part of the city’s ‘Heroes Boulevard.’
“Mayor Taylor was type of person that didn’t want recognition,” City Recorder Annette Spendlove said.
The idea to honor active service members from North Ogden came from citizen Kris Barker. She saw a similar set of banners, while visiting Bullhead City, Ariz. With the help of friend and neighbor, Laurel Pendelton, she and a group of Cub Scouts pitched the idea to the city council. Barker says the idea was easily approved.
“We just figured that it was a good way to show our love and appreciation to the service members who risk it all every day,” Barker said.
In about two and a half years, the program has grown to display more than two-dozen service members. Barker says most, like Mayor Taylor, humbly decline the offer for the honor. Instead, family members end up signing up their loved ones for the program.
Donnie and Kathy Patrick, for example, took the initiative to get their son, Ryan Patrick a banner.
“They just see it as something that they’re supposed to do, and not something that should be honored,” Kathy Patrick said. “Not everyone is willing to make that sacrifice.”
Like the many people who have come to leave flowers, flags and other mementos in honor of Taylor, Patrick says she’s grateful the banners are there.
“I just admire them for their sacrifice that they’re willing to make, and their families,” Patrick said. “Especially as they’re gone; my son’s going to deploy next year, and as they’re gone, to be able to see those banners up there, reminds us that the community is supporting us, and that they are grateful, and that they understand that freedom isn’t free.”
Spendlove says she and other city employees knew they’d never get Taylor’s permission to put his banner above Washington Boulevard.
“Once he said, ‘oh no, I don’t need that,’ that was it,” Spendlove said. “Not that he was mean about it. He was just… he didn’t like credit for things.”
City employees, however, pooled their money together, getting Taylor that banner just as he left for deployment last November.
“He thought it was nice,” Spendlove said. “He was genuine, and he just said, ‘thank you.’”
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