NORTH OGDEN, Utah — Hundreds of people attended a candlelight vigil to remember Major Brent Taylor, the Utah National Guardsman and North Ogden mayor who was killed in Afghanistan.
Many held candles as the sound of quiet hymns echoed throughout the neighborhood where Taylor lived.
“I want them to know that I love them and care about them,” said family friend Tess Bartholomew.
Taylor’s wife, children and other family members attended the vigil.
“I feel the love, my children feel that love,” said Taylor's wife Jenny.
The support is coming from both those who know the family and those who are total strangers.
Patrick Valdez, a veteran who served more than three decades in the Army, felt he had to pay his respects to a man he never met.
“It has been a long time since Utah lost one of their own,” Valdez said. “It does hurt, we know they’re in pain.”
To ease some of the family’s pain, Valdez and others in the community are doing all they can to show their support.
Earlier Wednesday, dozens of people canvassed the city to tie red, white, blue and yellow ribbons on trees and signposts.
“He had a big influence on my life,” said Abby Laing, as she cut spools of ribbon. “He had a big influence on the lives of everybody in this room.”
Laing hopes these small gestures show the Taylor family just how much the community appreciates their sacrifice.
As the vigil concluded, Jenny Taylor thanked the community for its support. A community grateful for a hero who died protecting freedom.
“Though our hearts are broken, we have no regrets,” Jenny Taylor said. “God Bless America.”