9/11 Hero’s Final Congressional Testimony

Former NYPD detective and 9/11 first responder Luis Alvarez has died of cancer at 53. This is his final testimony before Congress in his fight for the Victim Compensation Fund.

Luis Alvarez's Congressional Testimony

Luis Alvarez, a former NYC detective and 9/11 first responder, died June 30, 2019 of colorectal cancer. He was 53. Alvarez fought until the end of his life for the extending of the Sept. 11 Victim Compensation Fund. Hundreds of people gathered to say goodbye to Luis Alvarez, the retired police officer who fought for continued health benefits for 9/11 first responders even as he was dying of cancer.

When terrorists flew planes into the World Trade Center on Sept. 11, 2001, Alvarez raced to the scene and spent weeks at Ground Zero looking for survivors and human remains. In 2016, Alvarez was diagnosed with colorectal cancer that had spread to his liver, one of thousands of cancer cases linked to the aftermath of the 9/11 attacks. Strikingly thin, pale and frail when he testified on June 11, he told lawmakers he was scheduled to receive his 69th round of chemotherapy the next day but felt compelled to come.

His 69th round of chemo, scheduled for June 12, never happened. As he was about to receive the treatment, the nurse noticed he was disoriented, Alvarez wrote on Facebook a few days later. Tests showed his liver had shut down because of the tumors. There was nothing else the doctors could do, so Alvarez started hospice care. Two weeks after his testimony, a group of his fellow 9/11 first responders gave his badge to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell.

In his final days, Alvarez continued to urge lawmakers to reauthorize the 9/11 victims' fund. He worried about more people getting sick as time went on, noting it took many years for his cancer to develop following the 2001 terrorist attacks. Still, he had no regrets about working at Ground Zero. Alvarez’s story and powerful testimony to help his fellow 9/11 first responders — showing up on Capitol Hill even as he was grimly ill — turned him into a nationalized figure and prompted widespread messages of support.


07/03/2019 10:48 PM


  • Michelle J.
    08/30/2019 02:43

    May God bless his soul.

  • James H.
    08/29/2019 01:12

    God bless his soul rest in peace.

  • Daniel J.
    08/26/2019 17:17

    Thing is all these men and women should be takin care of. If anything happens anywhere in the world we are responders. We send money,food,water and help no questions asked. Why is it we never take care of our own. Its not because of lack of funding, this is the biggest mystery to me. Take care of our people. Thank you to the families and the people who ran into the aftermath on 9/11. Rest in peace to all those who have become angels. When will the United States truly take care of the people who keep it going. We send so much money overseas but yet our people suffer. Why?

  • Rene N.
    08/26/2019 12:07

    Que Dios lo bendiga es un héroe que salió lastimado malamente de esa batalla .solo quiere lo justo no tan solo para el si no para los familiares de sus compañeros .me parece .que su pedido es bien válido es un héroe que pide ayuda.

  • Mando C.
    08/23/2019 02:17

    Rest in peace sir,,and may your family find peace thank you for your services.

  • Elba J.
    08/18/2019 02:17

    Un heroe ,

  • Gladys L.
    08/14/2019 14:25

    Descanse en paz

  • Zulma P.
    08/13/2019 11:20

    Wait a minute I had a friend get 2,000,000 because her father perished in 9/11 and your telling me these brave men and women are treated like this each and every family member of all those policemen, firefighters first responders should get the same if not more, to hear this is so sad 😭, and worrying for those who chose to follow the same brave path smh. RIP

  • Gabriela C.
    08/09/2019 00:57

    This is so sad. Why do we keep letting these thugs happen!?

  • Miriam V.
    08/07/2019 14:20

    RIP Sniff God, please, help these familia😍

  • Luis A.
    08/06/2019 01:54

    Siempre lo diré!! Fue la masacre más grande hecha por el Gobierno de los Estados Unidos hacia si país por sus intereses políticos y económicos. Muchos cabos sin atar en el cual se le hecho la culpa a un movimiento religioso terrorista!! Que es paz Descanse todas esas víctimas del 9/11 !

  • Iky R.
    08/05/2019 15:05

  • Kristy S.
    08/03/2019 16:34

    RIP surrounded by angels.

  • Sayans O.
    07/31/2019 08:25

    chemo kill people direct effect. Bless This Man. rest in peace wake up ppl. its time to change.

  • Guillermo O.
    07/31/2019 07:56

    Honor y Respecto a quien se lo gano. Héroe!

  • Aniano M.
    07/29/2019 15:43

    Esta es la forma como tratan a sus héroes los americanos ufff que verguenza

  • April F.
    07/29/2019 01:31


  • Pito V.
    07/28/2019 18:33


  • Maria M.
    07/28/2019 01:23

    God Bless his soul! He truly is a hero in so many ways! 💙💙🙏🙏🙏🙏🙏🙏

  • Rosemary B.
    07/26/2019 23:55

    Rest In Peace.

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