Victims of 9/11-related illnesses honored at new Nassau County memorial

Three-hundred and forty-eight Nassau County lives were taken, far too soon, in the September 11th terrorist attacks.

Surviving family members still have a difficult time reading their names twenty years later.

This year, Nassau County is unveiling a new addition to its already-existing 9/11 memorial at Eisenhower Park: A 6,500-pound, red granite monument that will pay tribute to fallen first responders who lost their lives years after joining the rescue and recovery operation.

RELATED: Suffolk County students plant flags for 9/11 anniversary

"This is to commemorate the first responders who have died since 9/11. Too many of them have died from 9/11 illness. Unfortunately, every day, we’re learning of new neighbors that we lost," Nassau County Executive Laura Curran tells Fox 5 News.

The monument is here to honor heroes like Oceanside NYPD Detective Luis Alvarez, who succumbed to a heroic battle with 9/11-related cancer in 2019.

His widow Alaine Alvarez attended the moving Thursday evening ceremony.

"This is very symbolic as to what we all stand for. Twenty years later, I remember the day completely," she says.

Days before entering hospice care, Alvarez testified before Congress on behalf of his fellow Ground Zero first responders.

Today, Lou’s brother Phil, a retired Suffolk County cop, remains committed to honoring his legacy.

"I miss him, but I think about all the families that didn’t get that time with their brother or their sister or their son or their daughter and I meet them all the time," he explains.

Long Island has dozens of 9/11 monuments stretching from North to South shore.

The Town of Hempstead is holding its annual Sunrise Memorial Service on Saturday morning at Point Lookout.

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