The event will start with an hour of Sikh prayer at 10:30 a.m. CT, followed by a ceremony led by the Harris County Sheriff’s Office.
Dhaliwal, 42, was the first Sikh to serve as a Harris County sheriff’s deputy. Later, in 2015, he gained national attention when the sheriff’s department allowed him to wear a turban and beard in uniform.
“It’s a huge loss to our community and the younger generations that we hoped he would inspire,” Hardam Singh Azad, the chairman of the board at the Sikh National Center, the Houston gurdwara Dhaliwal attended, told CNN. A gurdwara is the Sikh place of worship.
Dhaliwal will be cremated at a funeral home later Wednesday afternoon, according to Sikh tradition. The cremation service will be for family and members of the sheriff’s office, and final prayers — open to the public — will be said afterward at the Sikh National Center.
Sikh funeral traditions already have been taking place at the gurdwara.
Since Monday afternoon, the Sikh National Center has been holding an Akhand Path, a nonstop front-to-back reading of the Guru Granth Sahib, the Sikh holy book. The Akhand Path is set to conclude Wednesday afternoon.
Dhaliwal is inspiring others
Dhaliwal’s loss is being felt both at home in Houston and in communities around the world.
Communities in New York, New Jersey and even Punjab, India, where Dhaliwal was originally from, held vigils in his memory, according to United Sikhs. Congregations in gurdwaras as far away as Melbourne, Australia, honored Dhaliwal in their Ardas, a formal Sikh prayer that asks God for strength.
Dhaliwal continues to inspire others.
Since Friday, United Sikhs has received an uptick in volunteer registrations for its various humanitarian projects, the group said.
The organization told CNN that it plans to launch an emergency fund Wednesday to assist first responders — a project Dhaliwal had hoped to start after he witnessed a first responder who didn’t have the financial resources to repair his own roof after 2017’s Hurricane Harvey hit Texas.