NORTH OGDEN, Utah – On the one-year anniversary of North Ogden Mayor Major Brent Taylor’s death in Afghanistan, the community came together to pay their respects.
A soldier, who was also injured on the day of the attack, came to join them in honoring Taylor.
On Sunday, a Veterans Day community program at Barker Park honored local veterans including Major Taylor.
Follow the Flag, in conjunction with Colonial Flag, sponsored a first-ever Field of Honor flag display representing 320 local veterans.
November 3rd marks the one-year anniversary of Major Brent Taylor’s death in Afghanistan.
“It’s been quiet, and I’ve noticed the family has probably had the same feeling. It is a mournful day for those people who have been very close to him,” Army Specialist Jesse Brown said.
As Taylor’s personal security guard on the day of the insider attack in Kabul, 20-year-old Brown was paying his respects.
“Our job was guardian angels, protecting advisors,” Brown share. “I was his security that day. I was the only person with him, and I was the only other American. In the process of trying to be there and do my job and get him back to camp, I ended up getting shot as well.”
The bullet barely missed Brown’s spine.
“I personally don’t like saying I took a bullet for him because I think it’s more that I took one with him,” Brown said.
Brown has spent the last few days with the community that Taylor loved so dearly to kick-off North Ogden’s Flag Week.
On Saturday, he joined family and community members on a hike up Coldwater Canyon where they unfurled the giant flag known as Major. Brown, with an attached banner from the unit Taylor served with. It was given to the Taylor’s family after his death.
“After a year, his passing has brought more people together than I’ve seen anywhere,” Brown said.
Looking back, Brown remembers Taylor’s love and commitment to helping the Afghan people.
“That is something I really respected from him. A lot of people, initially, whenever they meet an Afghan or know an Afghan, they get that stereotype instead of realizing they are people too. He did not see it that way at all. He definitely viewed them as equals,” Brown said.
And the ideals America stands for.
“He had an order for it and it was God, country and family,” Brown said. ”Not that one was more important than the other. He believed serving one was serving all.”
As this soldier commemorates this day, his training kicks in to hold back the emotion as he speaks of the man he so admires.
“From time to time it’s kind of like an overwhelming sensation but it’s never anything I would say per say negative,” Brown said.
For more information on event’s happening during North Ogden’s Flag Week you can visit www.followtheflag.org.
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