Luis Alvarez was a former NYPD detective as well as one of the first responders that spent months searching for survivors at ground zero after the 9/11 terrorist attack.
Tragically, Mr. Alvarez passed away on Saturday at the age of 53, after having been diagnosed with colorectal cancer linked to his time searching for survivors.
Stop Ignoring Our Heroes
Alvarez is a great example of both the best and worst this country has to offer. He did not hesitate to spend his days at the remains of the Twin Towers in the hopes of finding people that had somehow survived the attack.
Most of the time, the searches found dead victims, with the only solace being the fact the family would be able to get closure and properly bury their lost loved ones.
Unbeknownst to Alvarez, every second that passed on those grounds was creating a ticking bomb that would eventually cost him his own life.
Sadly, Alvarez’s story is not a unique one. His story and the stories of those like him were recently part of congressional testimony given by Jon Stewart.
Many of the men and women that dedicated their days and nights to finding survivors are now finding themselves with significant health problems. Compensation funds for these heroes are running dry, and our government is to blame for the rising crisis.
How Quickly We Forget
While our country does an exceptional job of recognizing our heroes in the moment, it also tends to forget them when the news cycle passes.
Look at the plight that has faced our veterans for decades.
We celebrate them, give them parades, give them medals, yet they are forgotten when they take off their uniform and the real impact of what they have seen and done begins to fade.
There is no doubt President Trump has made this situation better, but there is still a long way to go before our veterans are dug out from this horrific hole.
The same can be said about those involved in the massive search efforts after 9/11. These people went above and beyond, now it is time for our government to help them when they need it most. Doing anything less for our wounded heroes is simply unacceptable.