Nassau County 9/11 Ceremony
On Thursday, there was a special tribute ahead of the 20th anniversary of 9/11 honoring not only those who died that day, but also the first responders who lost their lives after battling 9/11-related illnesses.
LONG ISLAND - 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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