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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.

Brut.

07/03/2019 10:48 PM
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26 comments

  • Jean J.
    07/03/2019 22:54

    So sad. God bless this man and his family!

  • Henry C.
    07/03/2019 22:55

    How did he die? Was he killed or what?

  • Arnold F.
    07/03/2019 23:00

    RIP. Money can not buy life.

  • JM B.
    07/04/2019 00:45

    SADLY ITS NOT TERRORISM ITS YOUR OWN GOVT THE USA DOING. IT WOULD MAKE MORE IMPACT IF THEY CALLED FOR COMPLETE INVESTIGATION AND ALL QUESTIONS REGARDING 911 IS ANSWERED AND THE EVIL PEOPLE THAT CONSPIRED BE PUT TO JAIL.

  • James M.
    07/04/2019 02:56

    RIP THANK YOU FOR WHAT YOU DID AT GROUND ZERO NEVER FORGET RIP

  • Tula P.
    07/04/2019 03:21

    Rest In Peace, Hero!!! Thank you for your sacrifice, god bless you!!!!

  • Jeri W.
    07/04/2019 03:34

    Message heard!

  • Elaine W.
    07/04/2019 04:15

    bless you and all who responded in 9/11

  • Jake B.
    07/04/2019 06:43

    why they all get cancer in what?

  • Muhammad K.
    07/04/2019 07:07

    RIP

  • Willie M.
    07/04/2019 13:52

    Rest In Peace !!!!

  • Dorothy R.
    07/04/2019 14:03

    his sacrifice will be remembered.

  • Sara S.
    07/04/2019 14:52

    Porque o 11 de Setembro não foi só o evento ... É todas as "causas" depois dele , pois os que permaneceram nos trabalhos de salvamento não foram lembrados/considerados como vítimas ... Pois os efeitos não foram "imediatos" ...

  • Nojin R.
    07/04/2019 16:25

    Respect .

  • Debbie S.
    07/04/2019 19:32

    This is what a American HERO Looks Like !!! God Bless His Family !!!

  • Lilia M.
    07/04/2019 23:14

    Rip he was a hero 🙏🙏🙏🙏

  • Cora D.
    07/05/2019 04:21

    I am so deeply affected!

  • Reba V.
    07/06/2019 02:18

    There is something terribly deficient in a group of Senators that will not support the men and women who worked for months trying to recover the remains of those we lost on 9-11. Where were you and how much did you help on 9-11 and the many months after? Let me guess: You were working hard Not to come down with your own STDs just like the current president did when he skipped out on his duty during the Vietnam War.

  • Rosie L.
    07/06/2019 11:29

    What a brave man - may he rest in peace. I hope they win their battle x

  • Brut
    07/08/2019 19:58

    "Behind me, a filled room of 9/11 first responders — and in front of me, a nearly empty Congress." Listen to Jon Stewart's emotional plea to Congress — begging them to reauthorize funding for 9/11 first responders last month. 👇2