Wake held for NYPD detective who died from 9/11-related cancer
Family, friends and supporters are saying their final farewells to a Ground Zero first responder who died from 9/11-related cancer.
After the towers collapsed, Luis Alvarez spent weeks at Ground Zero. He was diagnosed with colorectal cancer in 2016. He was one of thousands of first responders who got sick from the toxic dust after the cleanup.
Alvarez is a former NYPD Bomb Squad detective as well as a military veteran.
He is survived by his wife and three sons.
The Oceanside man was 53 years old and was just on Capitol Hill last month with comedian and activist Jon Stewart fighting for the extension of the Victim Compensation Fund
. The bill to replenish the fund that provides compensation to those responders has since passed a congressional committee unanimously.
“He knew he only had a few days, but he just wanted to finish the job that he started,” said Alvarez’s brother, Phil.
Phil says that he and his family will see Alvarez’s fight through to the finish line.
“I will have my brother's hat, I will have his coat,” he said. “I'm a retired detective myself, and I will keep going until his message and his bill gets passed.”
Mayor de Blasio was expected to attend the former detective's wake and honor him with the keys to New York City. Alvarez's loved ones gathered at Towers Funeral Home in Oceanside Tuesday until 4 p.m. and again from 6 p.m. until 9 p.m. His funeral is in Astoria Wednesday.