NORTH OGDEN — As the two-year anniversary of Brent Taylor’s passing in Afghanistan fast approaches, his resting place at Ben Lomond Cemetery now has a headstone to mark the man’s life and death.
“It’s just a nice marker to remember a great man,” said Phil Swanson, a member of the North Ogden City Council and a friend of Taylor’s.
A small contingent of family and friends gathered Friday at the cemetery for the placement of the headstone. Taylor, North Ogden’s mayor and a major in the Utah Army National guard, died Nov. 3, 2018, while on a yearlong deployment to Afghanistan when a member of the Afghani special forces group he was helping train turned on him. He was buried Nov. 17, 2018, but weather, the COVID-19 pandemic and other issues delayed completion and placement of the headstone.
Jennie Taylor, Brent Taylor’s widow, said as the second anniversary of her husband’s death looms, she’s feeling “a mixed bag of emotions.” The headstone, she said, helps solidify the burial spot as a place to remember the man for both family as well as others wanting to pay their respects. His death is a big loss for family, but Jennie Taylor noted that he “was also the mayor of the city, a soldier.”
Stephen Taylor, Brent Taylor’s father, said he had been long anticipating placement of the headstone, but that the occasion and the coming anniversary of his son’s death still stir up a lot of emotions. “It just hits home again,” he said.
Annual Flag Week activities, inspired by the death of Taylor and meant to honor U.S. military service members, kick off Saturday with the unfurling of “The Major,” an oversized U.S. flag, in Coldwater Canyon. Flag Week launched last year and is centered around Veterans Day, Nov. 11, and — given Taylor’s interest in government and the Democratic process — Election Day, next Tuesday.
The new headstone features an etching of Ben Lomond Peak and a U.S. flag on one side. The other side features the names of his children and an etching of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints’ Salt Lake City Temple, underscoring his religious and family life.