Blessing of bikes, memorial planned

Church will bless motorcycles before ride to scatter ashes of slain police officer

Posted: Friday, April 23, 2004

Between 100 and 120 motorcycles are expected to participate in the 11th annual Bike Blessing on May 2 at the Kenai Christian Church on McKinley Street in Kenai.

After the blessing this year, the bikers are planning to proceed to Cooper Landing where some of slain Kenai Police Officer John Watson's ashes will be spread between the Sterling Highway and the Kenai River, according to Scott Hamann, who will officiate the bike blessing.

Watson, who attended the Kenai Christian Church, was a motorcycle enthusiast.

He was shot to death in the line of duty on Christmas Day. David S. Forster, 34, of Kenai, has been in Wildwood Pretrial Facility since Dec. 26, charged with murdering Watson.

Bikers are expected to gather at the Kenai church at 10:30 a.m., and a worship service will begin at 11.

Following the church service, each biker will ride up to a table outside the church and turn off his or her bike for a laying-on of hands and a blessing of the motorcycle. Then each motorcyclist will be given a Bible.

According to Hamann, who will perform the blessing along with the Rev. Robert DeVolld, the bikers then will accompany Watson's ashes to a spot in Cooper Landing favored by the officer and his wife, Kathy, where the ashes will be spread.

"We're doing this at Kathy's request," Hamann said.

Kathy Watson, who is employed by the Harley-Davidson motorcycle shop in Soldotna, said she will ride John Watson's motorcycle to the bike blessing and the procession to Cooper Landing.

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