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Jon Stewart Attends The Funeral of 9/11 First Responder Luis Alvarez

Jon Stewart paid his respects to 9/11 first responder Luis Alvarez, who appeared with him before Congress last month in a plea for an extension on the September 11th Victim Compensation Fund.

Alvarez passed away on Saturday from complications due to cancer linked to the months he spent at Ground Zero after the 9/11 attacks.

On June 11th, Stewart and Alvarez made a passionate appearance before Congress.

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They appeared at the House Judiciary Committee meeting where they were speaking in favor of reauthorizing the September 11th Victim Compensation fund, which was set to expire next year. After their testimonies, the House Panel unanimously passed the funding.

Stewart made headlines for referring to the low-attendance as "an embarrassment."

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He said, "Behind me, a filled room of 9/11 first respondents and in front of me, a nearly empty Congress. What an incredible metaphor this room is for the entire process that getting health care and benefits for 9/11 first responders has come to."

Stewart emphasized that the first responders had brought themselves down here "sick and dying" to speak to no one.

"They did their jobs... 18 years later, do yours!" Stewart's passionate plea was met with a standing ovation, but he wasn't the only speaker there to receive one.

Luis Alvarez, a retired bomb squad detective, also received one for his testimony.

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"Less than 24 hours from now, I will be starting my 69th round of chemotherapy," Alvarez began his speech. "I've been lucky enough to have 68 rounds of chemo, where others haven't had the opportunity to have five, and others have had none."

"This fund is not a ticket to paradise."

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"It is there to provide for our families when we can't. Nothing more."

The New York Daily News estimates that 93,028 first respondents or survivors were still being treated or monitored in the World Trade Center Health Program at the end of 2018, with an additional 800 new people signing up every month.

"You all said that you would never forget."

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"I'm here to make sure that you don't. You made me come down here the day before my 69th round of chemo, and I'm going to make sure you never forget to take care of your 9/11 responders."

"It is my goal and it is my legacy to see that you do the right thing for all 9/11 responders."

Getty Images | Timothy A. Clary

Alvarez unfortunately passed away on Saturday, June 29th due to complications from cancer linked to the days spent among the rubble in the aftermath of the 9/11 attacks.

Alvarez' funeral was held on Wednesday, July 3rd in New York City.

Getty Images | Timothy A. Clary

Stewart and countless fellow members of law enforcement were all in attendance at the funeral, along with Rep. Carolyn B. Maloney.

Alvarez was 53.