When Jon Stewart lambasted lawmakers at a hearing earlier this month, Luis Alvarez was one of the first responders at his side, making his own impassioned plea to the House Judiciary subcommittee to stop dragging its feet on re-funding the September 11 Victim Compensation Fund. Now, sad news from Long Island, per the New York Post and New York Times: Alvarez, 53, died Saturday in a Rockville Centre hospice of complications of colorectal cancer, which he was diagnosed with three years ago. "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," his family announced on Facebook early Saturday.
The father of three's cancer was a result of toiling at Ground Zero for three months after the 9/11 attacks, combing through the rubble and on rooftops first for survivors, then for remains. "You made me come here the day before my 69th round of chemo," he said before Congress on June 11, per the Times. "I'm going to make sure that you never forget to take care of the 9/11 responders." By the next day, he was too ill to even receive treatment, and it was determined his liver was failing; just days later he was admitted to hospice. "Please remember his words, 'Please take care of yourselves and each other,'" the family of the ex-Marine and 20-year NYPD veteran wrote on Facebook. "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. He was at peace with that, surrounded by family." Watch some final thoughts from Alvarez in this Fox News interview. (Read more 9/11 attacks stories.)