15 Years Later: Remembering Hero Highway and Point Thank You

Several people stand in the median of the West Side Highway holding signs in support of rescue and recovery workers in the weeks after September 11. The signs they’re holding include messages like “Stay Strony NYC” and “We Love Our Heroes.”
Hero Highway supporters give support to rescue and recovery workers. Photo courtesy of Martha Cooper.

In the weeks following Sept. 11, 2001, the West Side Highway was transformed into “Hero Highway,” with crowds lining the busy road to cheer and wave banners while thousands of rescue and recovery workers traveled to Ground Zero.

Point Thank You, located at the intersection of West and Christopher streets, saw large numbers of supporters who felt compelled to express their gratitude for those involved in the rescue and recovery efforts.

“Every night we would drive up West Street. . . there were people in the streets with American flags, and signs, thanking us, waving to us, screaming at us,” New York Police Department Emergency Services Unit member Anthony Conti recalled. “They had no idea what they meant to me.”

The supporters "maintained their presence straight through until the last beam was rolled out of the World Trade Center site in May of 2002, according to CBS New York.

Carol Martzinek said in a 2002 letter to the editor of The New York Times, “Point Thank You at the corner of Christopher and West Streets in Greenwich Village is living proof that there is goodness and hope in this world, even in our darkest hours. I am proud to be a part of it.”

In recognition of the 15th anniversary of the end of the historic rescue, recovery, and relief efforts at Ground Zero, the 9/11 Memorial Museum is hosting dedicated programs and commemorative activities from Tuesday, May 30 through Sunday, June 4.

By 9/11 Memorial Staff

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