A former New York City police detective and defender of the 9/11 Compensation Fund, Luis Alvarez, died Saturday morning, according to a statement released by his attorney.
“It is with peace and comfort, that the Alvarez family announce that Luis (Lou) Alvarez, our warrior, has gone home to our Good Lord in heaven today,” family attorney Matthew McCauley said, according to CBS News.
“Please remember his words, ‘Please take care of yourselves and each other,'” McCauley added.
The statement said Alvarez was “surrounded by family” and “at peace” knowing that “he had won this battle by the many lives he had touched by sharing his three year battle.”
“Thank you for giving us this time we have had with him, it was a blessing!” the statement said.
But in 2016, Alvarez was diagnosed with colorectal cancer.
“He was one of more than 50,000 people whose illness had been linked to their exposure to toxins that were released after the towers collapsed,” CBS News noted.
Alvarez was also a staunch defender of the 9/11 Compensation Fund, which is dedicated to helping with the medical bills of first responders and victims from the tragic terror attack on Sept. 11, 2001.
Earlier this month, he joined comedian Jon Stewart in asking Congress to pass a new compensation bill.
“I should not be here with you, but you made me come,” Alvarez told lawmakers on June 11, as NBC’s “Today” pointed out.
“I have been lucky enough to have the pain and suffering of 69 rounds of chemo and countless other treatments and surgeries.”
Alvarez additionally spoke to CBS in early June, saying, “My message to Congress is: We have to get together and get this bill passed as quickly as possible.”
“I would love to be around when it happens. The government has to act like first responders, you know, put politics aside and let’s get this bill done, because we did our job and the government has to do theirs,” he added.
Alvarez said he regretted not being able to throw on his bomb suit “and run around and do my job.”
However, Alvarez knew that he had a different role to play.
“As long as God gives me the time, I’ll be here, advocating, because guys are dying now,” he told CBS.
Asked if he would do it all again knowing how the rest of his life would turn out, he said, “Absolutely, in a heartbeat.”
Truth and Accuracy
We are committed to truth and accuracy in all of our journalism. Read our editorial standards.