Mourners lined the streets of New York City Wednesday as they paid tribute to retired NYPD Detective Luis Alvarez, who spent his last days fighting for others.
Alvarez, who spent months digging through rubble in the aftermath of 9/11, lost his battle with cancer on Saturday. He was just 53.
Less than three weeks before his death, Alvarez delivered heart-wrenching testimony before Congress, pleading with lawmakers to extend health benefits for Ground Zero first responders.
"You all said you would never forget," Alvarez said. "Well, I'm here so you don't."
Jon Stewart, who was at Alvarez's side, added: "They did their job with courage, grace, tenacity, humility ... 18 years later, do yours."
Stewart attended the funeral at the Immaculate Conception Church in Astoria, Queens, Wednesday and offered a salute to his fallen friend.
Inside the church, Alvarez's sister and oldest son gave touching tributes.
"I love you, dad," his son, David, said. "I promise to continue walking on the brave side of the line. I promise to be the man you inspired me to be."