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WATCH: Houston police Sgt. Harold Preston laid to rest in Athens, Texas

HOUSTON, Texas – It was a bittersweet day in Houston’s third ward. Members of the Houston Police Department and the community came together Saturday morning to honor a fallen police officer as he was transported to his final resting place.

Dozens of police motorcycles and vehicles lined up in a parking lot on the campus of Texas Southern University to escort fallen HPD Sgt. Harold Preston to a north Texas cemetery. Houston police Chief Art Acevedo, who took part in the procession, wore a mask paying tribute to Preston.

“There’s no better place to start this journey, this final journey than right here in the Third Ward, where Harold Preston was raised,” said Chief Art Acevedo. “Harold Preston went to Jack Yates High School. He went to TSU.”

Diane Mayes-Wooten, a fellow Yates H.S. graduate, said she wanted to watch the procession to honor her class of 1973 classmate.

“I just wanted to come out and see him out,” Wooten said. “It’s really hard to see him pass, to go this way.”

At 9 a.m., dozens of police motorcycles lead the hearse carrying Preston’s body. Preston, who patrolled Houston for 41 years up until his death last week, took one last drive from the third ward to the north freeway. Preston’s family rode in charter buses behind the caravan of cars. Houston TranStar cameras captured part of the procession along the way.

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When the procession got to Spring, firefighters and veterans stood atop of a bridge to wave flags and to salute Sgt. Preston.

“This is wonderful that all these people are here to honor Sgt. Preston as he’s going to his resting place,” said an Army veteran and retired HPD officer named Steve.

The procession traveled more than three and a half hours to Athens where Preston was laid to rest at North Athens Cemetery in a private service.