“It is with peace and comfort, that the Alvarez family announce that Luis (Lou) Alvarez, our warrior, has gone home to our Good Lord in heaven today. Please remember his words, ‘Please take care of yourselves and each other.’ We told him at the end that he had won this battle by the many lives he had touched by sharing his three-year battle,” the family said in a statement on Facebook.
“He was at peace with that, surrounded by family. Thank you for giving us this time we have had with him, it was a blessing!”
Funeral arrangements will be coordinated with the NYPD, United States Military, and other agencies.
Before his passing, Alvarez testified at a House Judiciary subcommittee hearing on June 11 to advocate for an extension of the fund for police officers, firefighters, and emergency works who became ill after working on the site of the fallen Twin Towers.
CNN has details on the fund:
The fund is set to expire in 2020, and the special master who runs it previously announced plans to cut payouts by between 50% and 70% to ensure all are paid. The fund paid out $7 billion in damages when it originally operated from 2001 to 2003, was reopened in 2011 and extended for another five years in 2015.
“You made me come down here the day before my 69th round of chemo, and I’m going to make sure that you never forget to take care of the 9/11 responders,” he said during the hearing. “We were there with one mission, and we left after completing that mission.
“I have been to many places in this world and done many things, but I can tell you that I did not want to be anywhere else but Ground Zero when I was there. Now that the 9/11 illnesses have taken many of us, we are all worried about our children and spouses and our families if we are not here.”
Just a week before his passing, Alvarez took to social media to provide a grim update.
“So now I’m resting and I’m at peace. I will continue to fight until the Good Lord decides it’s time,” he wrote on Facebook. “I will try to do a few more interviews to keep a light on our fight for the VCF benefits we all justly deserve. Please take care of yourselves and each other.”
Our deepest condolences are with Alvarez’s family and friends during this incredibly tragic and difficult time. And everyone should take the time to honor a true hero who was faithful to his country until death.