Thanksgiving is a time to reflect on all that we are grateful for. We are grateful to live in the United States of America where we have the privilege to vote. A recent event has brought into focus the high price of that privilege and how sacred a privilege it is.
Major Brent Taylor
On November 3, 2018 Major Brent Taylor, the current mayor of North Ogden was shot and killed in Afghanistan.
Taylor was serving in Afghanistan as part of his service for the National Guard. Brent Taylor leaves behind his wife Jennie and seven young children ranging in ages from 11 months to 13 years old.
Voting in Afghanistan
During his time second tour in Afghanistan, Major Taylor had been working to institute voting in Afghanistan.
In a Facebook post on October 28, 2018, he wrote:
“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. “
“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.”
Importance of Voting in the United States
In addition to talking about making voting possible in Afghanistan, Taylor also stressed the importance of voting in the U.S. In a statement that he made on a Facebook post he talked about the importance of voting in elections.
When his body was returned to the U.S., his wife Jenny made a statement and quoted Taylor’s post:
“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.”
Brent Taylor helped remind us of the price we pay for our freedoms. He emphasized the importance of voting. His death is a reminder of the high price we pay to protect our freedom.
We are grateful for our freedoms. We are grateful for our civic leaders. We are grateful for our military who protect our freedoms and rights to vote. And we are grateful for Brent Taylor’s service in the National Guard and as a mayor of North Ogden. His sacrifices for freedom and democracy will not be forgotten.
Personal Note: I attended Weber High School with Jennie Taylor and grew up in North Ogden, Utah. When I first heard the news of a soldier killed in Afghanistan, I was saddened. However, as I heard the name and learned more about the individual killed, I realized that I had a personal connection to him. It has been humbling to see the impact that Brent Taylor has had on his community and the world.
Brent Taylor’s death and sacrifice for his country have helped reaffirmed to me the sacred privilege that it is to vote.