ATHENS, Texas — One week ago, Athens Middle School student Christopher Bonilla died after an oncoming freight train hit his school bus at a crossing on Cream Level Road. He was 13.

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Out of the tragedy came a sense of unity among those in Athens, Bonilla's rallying around the family and the students who shared their lives with him.

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On Friday, the Athens community packed the high school's gymnasium to bid a heartfelt farewell to Bonilla.

People of all ages and backgrounds sat in sea of maroon shirts, many saying Athens Strong, showing how the tragedy has galvanized this tightly-knit community.

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The service was a traditional Catholic funeral mass. A choir performed songs with Bonilla's casket, covered in gold, white and purple, standing out front.

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The priest reminded those attending that while they collectively mourn Bonilla's passing, there hope and light for those devastated