The Latest: Funeral underway for 9/11 activist

NEW YORK (AP) — The Latest on the funeral for a detective who fought for 9/11 compensation (all times local):

10:20 a.m.

A funeral is underway for a former New York City police detective who fought until his final days for the extension of health benefits for Sept. 11 first responders.

Hundreds of NYPD officers saluted the flag-draped casket of former Detective Luis Alvarez Wednesday as it was brought into a church in the New York City borough of Queens.

Alvarez died Saturday of colorectal cancer. He attributed his illness to the three months he spent digging through rubble at the World Trade Center after the 2001 terrorist attacks.

Alvarez appeared in June before the House Judiciary Committee with former “Daily Show” host Jon Stewart to plead for a bill that would extend the Sept. 11 Victim Compensation Fund.

The bill is awaiting a full House vote.

Stewart declined to speak to reporters Wednesday.

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9:45 a.m.

A fellow activist says a former New York City police detective who fought for the extension of the Sept. 11 Victim Compensation Fund chose to spend his final days “making a difference.”

John Feal spoke Wednesday while awaiting the funeral of Luis Alvarez.

Alvarez died Saturday of colorectal cancer. He attributed his illness to the three months he spent digging through rubble at the World Trade Center’s twin towers after the 2001 terrorist attacks.

Alvarez appeared in June before the House Judiciary Committee with former “Daily Show” host Jon Stewart to plead for a bill that would extend health benefits for Sept. 11 first responders.

The bill passed a committee unanimously and awaits a full House vote.

Stewart declined to speak to reporters Wednesday.

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1:05 a.m.

A former New York City police detective who fought until his final days for the extension of the Sept. 11 Victim Compensation Fund is being remembered with a funeral service in Queens on Wednesday.

The ceremony for 53-year-old Detective Luis Alvarez will be held at the Immaculate Conception Church in Astoria.

Alvarez died Saturday after a three-year battle with colorectal cancer. He attributed his illness to a three-month period he spent digging through rubble at the World Trade Center’s twin towers after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks.

In June, Alvarez appeared before the House Judiciary Committee with former “Daily Show” host Jon Stewart to deliver a passionate plea for a bill that would extend health benefits for Sept. 11 first responders. The bill passed the committee unanimously and awaits a full House vote.

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