Just a few days ago in this space, we noted how recognizing the sacrifice of those who have given their lives in defense of our free country should serve as motivation for the right — the duty — to vote.
There is, tragically, fresh evidence of such sacrifice.
On Saturday, Brent Taylor, 39, the mayor of North Ogden, Utah, and a father of seven, was killed in action while serving in Afghanistan as a member of the Army National Guard. An apparent insider attack involved a member of Afghan security forces opening fire at a base in Kabul where foreign troops provide training to Afghan forces. The attack wounded another U.S. service member, Maj. Gen. Jefferson S. Burton, adjutant general of the Utah National Guard.
Others had discouraged Taylor from deploying a fourth time, telling him, “You’ve done enough. You’ve done your part.” And yet Taylor insisted he wanted to go back, according to the Washington Post. He thought he could do some good in Afghanistan, to help the people be liberated.
Over the past 10 months, Taylor posted periodic updates of his Afghanistan service to Facebook. In his last post, dated Oct. 28, Taylor quoted Franklin D. Roosevelt — “In the truest sense, freedom cannot be bestowed; it must be achieved” — and spoke with pride about witnessing Afghanistan’s first parliamentary elections in eight years, despite threats of violence.
“As the USA gets ready to vote in our own election next week, I hope everyone back home exercises their precious right to vote,” Taylor wrote. “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.”
God bless men like Brent Taylor. He would be proud of every vote cast today.
We shouldn’t let him down.