By Kirsten Stuart
American Red Cross Utah/Nevada Region Volunteer
On Gold Star Mothers and Families Day, the American Red Cross of Utah pays tribute to the mothers and families who have lost a loved one while serving in the United States Armed Forces. Observed annually on the last Sunday of September, this day is a solemn reminder of the sacrifice made by our fallen service members and their families.
The Gold Star symbolizes a tragic loss that no family should endure - the death of a military member in the line of duty. This emblem is not an award anyone wishes to receive but serves as a beacon of remembrance for those left behind.
Tammy Taylor, mother of the late North Ogden Mayor and Utah National Guard Major Brent Taylor, understands the profound significance of this day. Major Taylor tragically lost his life while serving with his unit in Kabul, training Afghan defense forces.
Reflecting on her loss, Tammy shares, “I feel a deep connection to all those who have shown the courage to step up for our country. It's important to honor all our military heroes and support their loved ones, not just on special days like today, but every day.”
For Tammy, Gold Star Mothers and Family Day is a time to remember her remarkable son and the life he led. It also serves as a poignant reminder of her irreplaceable loss. She doesn't view the Gold Star as a "military award," but rather as a challenging journey she must navigate, living the life she believes Brent would want for her.
When asked how she commemorates her son on such days, Tammy reveals she honors Brent's memory by making a positive impact on others' lives. “It's not about grand gestures to help those grieving or dealing with your own grief,” she explains. “Rather, it's about making others' lives better. That's how I honor Brent’s sacrifice.”
As a member of the Major Brent Taylor Foundation, Tammy lives by the motto "Live your Thank You!” She believes that honoring our military members goes beyond expressing gratitude for their service; it involves embodying that gratitude through acts of kindness. Whether spending extra time with a bereaved family member or accompanying a caregiving neighbor on daily walks, Tammy practices her mantra of "Living Her Thank You."
In honor of other Gold Star Mothers and Families, Tammy encourages others to make a positive difference in someone's life. She hopes that each of us can find a way to give back to our community in tribute to those who have served our country.