Hundreds gather to ‘Ride for Will’


More than $9,600 raised for his family

Rick Lanier
For the
Opelika Observer

On the evening of May 20, Auburn police were dispatched to a report of a domestic dispute at the 3000 block of Wire Road. As the officers attempted to make contact with the reporting party, they came under a fury of gunfire. During the mayhem, Officers Webb Sistrunk and Evan Elliot were shot and injured. Sadly, William Ray “Will” Buechner Jr. was mortally wounded in the line of duty.
Buechner was a respected veteran police officer and much more. A son, a loving husband and dad to a wonderful family. A lawman, servant and a peace maker within his community. A motorcyclist and a brother of the Gunners Law Enforcement MC – a brother not by blood but by heritage.
He had many such brothers, sisters too, most of whom never had the honor of knowing him, but all who considered him a brother just the same.
On Saturday, hundreds of Will’s brothers and sisters attended a tribute rally and memorial ride at Harley Davidson of Montgomery to honor his sacrifice and to help raise money for a college fund for his children. Montgomery area merchants graciously donated items and services for door prizes and raffles. Montgomery Harley Davidson unselfishly hosted vendors who volunteered their services for donations. There were new bikes and clothing, burgers and dogs, doughnuts and treats, soft drinks and water, live music and a chance to meet recording artist Jessie Lynn.
When all was said and done, more than $9,600 was raised for his children.
The day’s events culminated with a ride for Will. Two-by-two, more 350 bikes, escorted by Alabama Highway Patrol and Auburn Police Department motorcycle units, as well as, the Montgomery Police Department, rolled onto Eastern Boulevard headed north to visit him at his final resting place in Auburn. Along the way, rider’s encountered hundreds of onlookers and well-wishers gathered on the overpasses and along the sides of the road, carrying flags and inspirational banners. Once at Will’s place, most met him for the first time and one-by-one they stood side-by-side to pay their respects. It was a good day for everybody.

“Rest easy now my Brother, on the wings of the Angels, until we ride again.” – Unknown


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