July 2, 2019 By Shane O’Brien
A funeral will be held in Astoria on Wednesday for a 9/11 first responder who played a significant role in the ongoing fight for the September 11th Victim Compensation Fund.
Luis Alvarez, a former NYPD detective, died of colorectal cancer in hospice on Saturday at the age of 53. His funeral will be held on Wednesday at 10 a.m. at the Immaculate Conception Church, located at 21-47 29th Street.
Alvarez, who was born in Cuba and raised in Astoria, attributed his cancer to the three months he spent searching for victims following the 9/11 attacks.
The former detective has deep roots in Queens. He graduated from Immaculate Conception School, as well as from Monsignor McClancy Memorial High School in East Elmhurst, before serving in the U.S. Marine Corps.
He then joined the NYPD in 1990, where he was assigned to the 108th Precinct in Long Island City. He was later transferred to the Narcotics Division and then promoted to be a detective
Alvarez, who is survived by a wife and three sons, appeared before Congress last month alongside former “Daily Show” host Jon Stewart in an attempt to get lawmakers to extend the 9/11 victim compensation fund, which is slated to end in 2020.
Beneficiaries of the fund could see their payments cut by over 70 percent next year if the fund isn’t extended. Alvarez reminded Congress of its purpose when he spoke before the House Judiciary subcommittee on June 11.
“This fund isn’t a ticket to paradise, it’s to provide our families with care. You all said you would never forget. Well, I’m here to make sure that you don’t.”
Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney introduced a bill in February that would extend the fund for decades. The bill has languished since, although it was voted out of committee and Senate leader Mitch McConnell said it would go to the floor for a vote in August.
Mayor Bill de Blasio gave thanks to Alvarez for his service and announced that the first responder would be awarded with a posthumous key to the City
“This city can never repay its debt to Detective Lou Alvarez,” de Blasio tweeted. “It will be my honor to award him with a posthumous Key to the City as a symbol of our profound respect and gratitude for his service and sacrifice.”
*** Please Be Advised ***
Funeral Arrangements For Ret. @NYPDDetectives Luis Alvarez, Are As Follows:
📍MOS Report Time For Wednesday, July 3, 2019 Will Be 0900 Hours. pic.twitter.com/RU4AFTuC6g
— NYPD Ceremonial Unit (@NYPDCeremonial) June 30, 2019