A Nassau park may soon bear the name of Luis G. Alvarez, the Oceanside man whose sacrifice after one of the country’s darkest days and dedication to fellow 9/11 first responders despite terminal cancer drew the admiration of the nation he served.
Nassau County Executive Laura Curran filed a resolution Tuesday to rename Terrell Avenue Park in Oceanside after one of the village’s most revered residents, calling the retired New York Police Department bomb squad detective a “champion” for the men and women who responded to the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center.
The measure must be approved by the Nassau Legislature.
“Just weeks before his passing, Det. Alvarez, a loving husband and father of three sons and Oceanside resident, delivered a moving and crucial plea in Washington before a House Judiciary subcommittee to replenish the September 11th Victim Compensation Fund,” Curran said in a statement. “This park will serve as a symbol and reminder of his sacrifice and unwavering fight for 9/11 first responders. We hope his family, friends and the community will enjoy this tranquil neighborhood space dedicated in his honor.”
The park, about an acre in size and located at Terrell and Atlantic avenues, also has a line of benches overlooking a stream, according to county records.
In a statement, Alvarez's family said they were grateful for the gesture.
“The outpouring of love and respect for Lou continues to be overwhelming to us all,” their statement said. “Lou was a very strong man and protector of family, friends and strangers. However, equally as important was the time he had to himself to quietly think and reflect. To have this beautiful meditation and reflection park in his hometown of Oceanside for adults and children to enjoy, is truly an honor to the legacy of Luis Alvarez as well as the entire Alvarez Family. .”
Alvarez, 53, died of colorectal cancer on June 29 after transfixing the nation on June 11 with his testimony alongside activist and comedian Jon Stewart, who also made an emotional plea to extend the funding, which was rapidly depleting.
Hundreds of police, local politicians and members of Congress attended his funeral at a packed Immaculate Conception Roman Catholic Church in Astoria, Queens.
In July, President Donald Trump — while flanked by dozens of first responders including several from Long Island — signed legislation to replenish the fund which provides financial support to people who were hurt or who developed diseases after responding to the disaster.
“We pledge to stand by the families of those affected today, and every day we will stand with you,” Trump said of the bill which bears Alvarez’s name.
The “Never Forget the Heroes: James Zadroga, Ray Pfeifer, and Luis Alvarez Permanent Authorization of the September 11th Victim Compensation Fund Act” provides funding through the year 2092. It also provides medical coverage for people who lived and worked in the area of Ground Zero since the attacks.