COLUMBUS, Ga. (WTVM) - A few hundred motorcyclists and community members gathered at the Big-Swamp Harley Davidson for the “William Buechner 2020 A Ride to Remember” Saturday morning. The Auburn police officer was shot and killed in the line of duty last May.
“We’re here to carry on his legacy,” said Rueben Garza, Auburn Gunners Club President.
The Auburn Gunners Club and Back the Badge Lee County hosting Saturday’s ride.
“What we’re doing is in memory of Will, William ‘ATF’ Buechner. We called him ATF. That was his road name. We’re doing this for his kids so, we set up a trust,” Garza explained.
Garza says Buechner has a son who is almost two-years-old and an 11-year-old daughter. He says the trust fund will help support Buechner’s children.
About 200 motorcyclists, including Henry Sizemore, rode a 65 mile route from Opelika to Auburn Saturday lead by the Opelika Police Department.
“We do back the blue and contrary to what’s going on in the world, they do serve and important part of our communities,” Sizemore said.
Sizemore says he participated in a memorial ride they did last year for Buechner.
“I think it serves as a reminder of what can happen to our police officers and everything when they go on a call. It just brings awareness that they put their lives in danger every single day when they’re at work,” he said.
Garza says Buechner was the club’s secretary at the time of his death.
“Will always had a smile. I always said this last year, but he had the one of the biggest hearts out of all of my guys. When I say that, I say big heart is he was filled with nothing but kindness. He did his job to the best that he could do,” Garza said.
Garza says they plan to do ride to remember Buechner for at least the next few years. The free ride ended at Town Creek Cemetery in Auburn where Buechner is buried.