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Long Island Park Named After Hero 9/11 NYPD Det. Luis Alvarez

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CBS2's Carolyn Gusoff has more on Tuesday's event in Oceanside, Alvarez's home town.

Video Transcript

- Nearly 20 years after our city was attacked on 9/11, the death toll still rises as cancers from World Trade Center toxic dust claim more lives.

- Today, a true leader among 9/11 first responders was remembered with a special honor. CBS 2's Carolyn Gusoff reports from Oceanside.

In the heart of his hometown, a park named for a New York hero. Luis Alvarez's name and face were the embodiment of New York determination. When riddled with cancer, the NYPD detective tirelessly battled for 9/11 first responders. His widow, Lainie, worked with Nassau to make this once-forgotten pocket park a place to heal the mind and soul.

LAINIE ALVAREZ: A peaceful place, a place that can fill you up with good stuff. And just stay present.

CAROLYN GUSOFF: It's always time to reflect on the here and now at Luis Alvarez Park and what he did for thousands of victims' families.

AIDA ALVAREZ: To have what they need and to have an example of what humanity is all about.

CAROLYN GUSOFF: Thanks in part to Alvarez, the compensation fund to help first responders who get sick from World trade Center toxins was extended from 2020 to 2090.

PHIL ALVAREZ: He only became a warrior because he knew it would help other people, not for recognition, not for people to remember his name. He always said, just remember the victims.

CAROLYN GUSOFF: His legacy also lives on in this rookie NYPD cop, his nephew.

PHIL ALVAREZ: When he graduated the Academy, they gave him my brother's shield number.

- It's a big legacy to carry, but I'm trying.

LAINIE ALVAREZ: The park is designed to be a tranquil place. Just sit, reflect, look around, and just remember what life is all about. It's not about the things that we have. It's the things that we can pass on.

CAROLYN GUSOFF: And the people we love. In Oceanside, Long Island, Carolyn Gusoff, CBS 2 News.