Today, October 19, 2023, would have been the 58th birthday of NYPD Detective Luis G. Alvarez, a 9/11 hero whose testimony persuaded Congress to establish permanent compensation benefits for 9/11 community members with cancer or respiratory illness and their families.
Detective Alvarez, who appeared before Congress with comedian and 9/11 advocate Jon Stewart, died only 18 days later, of colorectal cancer he developed as a result of his exposure to 9/11 toxins, where he worked with search-and-rescue teams for three months after the attacks.
In his testimony, Detective Alvarez called on Congress to honor its promise to “never forget” the 9/11 community members whose contributions to the recovery of New York City were invaluable.
“I will not stand by and watch as my friends with cancer from 9/11 like me are valued less than anyone else because of when they get sick,” he said. “I’m going to make sure that you never forget to take care of the 9/11 responders.”
Alvarez was honored in the naming of the bill for which he testified, “The Never Forget the Heroes: James Zadroga, Ray Pfeifer, and Luis Alvarez Permanent Authorization of the September 11th Victim Compensation Fund.”
Alvarez, a native of Havana, Cuba, graduated from Monsignor McClancy Memorial High School, in East Elmhurst, Queens, before joining the Marines.
He became a member of the New York City Police Department in 1990, and quickly advanced through the ranks – becoming a detective in 1995 and later working undercover.
Detective Alvarez was recognized on multiple occasions for his exemplary work with the NYPD before retiring in 2010.
Detective Luis G. Alvarez’s heroism continues to inspire the entire 9/11 community. We will never forget his many contributions.
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