News

Sea of NYPD Officers Turn Out for Funeral of Ardent 9/11 Victims Fund Defender

Luis Alvarez made his final journey Wednesday, surrounded by those for whom he gave his last full measure of devotion.

The former New York Police Department detective, who labored at Ground Zero after the 9/11 attacks, had a trip to Congress on June 11 to push for continued funding for the Victim Compensation Fund, which helps the families of police and firefighters whose dangerous work at the toxic site left them with cancer.

Alvarez died Saturday at the age of 53 after fighting colorectal cancer for three years.

“I did not want to be anywhere else but Ground Zero when I was there,” Alvarez said during his testimony last month. He was accompanied by actor and activist Jon Stewart, according to CBS. Stewart, who has fought for the 9/11 victims fund, attended Alvarez’s funeral on Wednesday.

Trending:
After Fauci Email Proves Link with Zuckerberg, House Republicans Hit Facebook with One Demand That Could Change Everything

“Now the 9/11 illnesses have taken many of us, and we are all worried about our children, our spouses and our families and what happens if we are not here,” Alvarez said last month.

He told CBS he would fight for those who worked at Ground Zero as long as he had breath to do so.

“As long as God gives me the time, I’ll be here, advocating, because guys are dying now,” Alvarez said.

Should Congress support the Victims Compensation Fund?

On Wednesday, Alvarez was praised for his efforts on behalf of others.

Alvarez “emphasized with blunt grace that future families stand not only to experience the stress of fighting these terrible illnesses but that their struggles would be compounded by the unconscionable financial burden of trying to fund their healthcare,” NYPD Commissioner James O’Neill said.

As of Wednesday, 222 NYPD officers have died from 9/11-related illnesses, O’Neill said.

Related:
Lawmakers Introduce Legislation That Could Curb Big Tech's Market Power

The commissioner said that even as Alvarez was in his final weeks of life, he “just wanted to do what’s right and he desperately wanted others — in particular those in positions of great power — to follow suit.”

On Wednesday, Alvarez was honored not only as an advocate, but as a father.

“Before he came an American hero, he was mine,” his eldest son, David, said at the service. “The one above all I wanted to make proud.”

“Growing up I’d be told by family members that I was just like my dad. I laugh like him, I smile like him, I walk like him, I’m quiet and stubborn like he was. I always took it as compliments … because I always looked up to my dad, always wanted to be like him,” David said.

His sister, Ida Lugo, said that her brother fought cancer with the same zeal he had when fighting for the victims of 9/11.

In fighting an enemy he could not defeat, Alvarez showed “tenacity and resilience that even surprised his oncology team,” Lugo said.

“Nevertheless, chemo became his prison, his jail. Often isolating him from the world, too sick to engage.”

“He wanted to urge our government to do the right thing. It became my brother’s dying wish, the legacy he wanted to leave that the bill protecting the Victim Compensation Fund be passed,” she said.

Although a House panel passed a bill to ensure the fund remains solvent, the bill still needs to pass the full House and the Senate.

“Luis could’ve spent his last days and weeks and hours w his family and loved ones, he chose to spend it making a difference,” said John Feal, founder of the Feal Good Foundation, which asked Alvarez to speak to Congress, according to the New York Post.

Feal said the fight to pass the bill is not over.

“He’s going to be with us when we’re back in D.C. We’re going to wear him on our sleeve,” Feal said.

Truth and Accuracy

Submit a Correction →



We are committed to truth and accuracy in all of our journalism. Read our editorial standards.

Tags:
, , , , ,
Jack Davis is a freelance writer who joined The Western Journal in July 2015 and chronicled the campaign that saw President Donald Trump elected. Since then, he has written extensively for The Western Journal on the Trump administration as well as foreign policy and military issues.
Jack Davis is a freelance writer who joined The Western Journal in July 2015 and chronicled the campaign that saw President Donald Trump elected. Since then, he has written extensively for The Western Journal on the Trump administration as well as foreign policy and military issues.
Jack can be reached at jackwritings1@gmail.com.
Location
New York City
Languages Spoken
English
Topics of Expertise
Politics, Foreign Policy, Military & Defense Issues




Conversation