Late NYPD Detective Luis Alvarez — who became the face of suffering 9/11 first-responders during a moving appearance before Congress last year — was honored Monday with a park named after him.
“My brother talked about taking care of each other and taking care of yourself. We hope this park [fits] in that mission,’’ said Alvarez’s sibling, Phil, who was on hand at the former Terrell Avenue Park in Oceanside, LI, for the dedication ceremony along with Luis’s widow and two of their three sons.
Monday would have been Luis Alvarez’s 55th birthday.
His widow, Alaine Parker Alvarez, wept as she introduced herself.
“This park is very special in a lot of ways,’’ she said. “It’s just some place where people can come to stay in the moment, not to think about the future or the past, and just enjoy life to its fullest and not to forget tomorrow is never promised.”
Her husband developed cancer after working the pile at Ground Zero.
A few weeks before he died, he testified in front of a House Judiciary subcommittee along with comedian-turned-9/11-responder champion Jon Stewart to urge Congress to replenish the Victims Compensation Fund.
Gaunt and frail from liver cancer, Luis wore his blue NYPD Bomb Squad jacket as he spoke.
“Less than 24 hours from now, I will be starting my 69th round of chemotherapy,” the former cop said. “Yeah, you heard that correct.
“I should not be here with you, but you made me come. You made me come because 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, they die.’’
IOLA, Wis.— They wrote it right into their business plan…
Stewart, former host of “The Daily Show,’’ famously ripped the panel because only five of its 14 members showed up to hear the testimony.
“Sick and dying, they brought themselves down here to speak to no one,” Stewart said of Luis and other first-responders. “Shameful.”
The Senate eventually voted 97-2 to extend the funding for the victims.
Nassau County Executive Laura Curran was on hand Monday to help dedicate the new Detective Luis G. Alvarez Memorial Park — which is just a quarter mile from the former detective’s home.
His widow said the space, which is still being developed, would offer “a meditation labyrinth, a couple of swings, a clock, a flag … a beautiful place to come.
“I want it to attract good vibes, good people, good thoughts and to have everybody enjoy it,” she said.
The couple’s 17-year-old son, Ben, called the space “a nice place to remember him and just be.”