A funeral is being held on Wednesday for Luis Alvarez, a 9/11 first responder who died after becoming sick because of his work at Ground Zero.
Alvarez spent months working as part of the recovery effort and later developed colon cancer that was linked to the toxic dust and debris in the air following the attacks.
“Soon in America, more will have died from 9/11 related illnesses than on 9/11 itself. The NYPD alone lost 23 brave souls on that horrific day, and more than 500 of our members have contracted various illnesses,” Police Commissioner James O’Neill said.
Recently, Alvarez was one of the fiercest supporters for the Victims Compensation Fund.Despite going through dozens of rounds of chemotherapy, he traveled to Washington to lobby Congress to reauthorize the fund.
On Tuesday, Mayor Bill de Blasio posthumously awarded Alvarez a key to the city.
“Detective Luis Alvarez showed us courage of the highest order. He went to Washington and he spoke a truth he should not have had to speak, telling the members of the Senate and the House that they simply had to take care of all our first responders who served at 9/11 and the recovery after,” de Blasio said.
Alvarez was just 53 years old when he died last weekend.A funeral is being held at Immaculate Conception Church in Astoria.
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