February 2023 brought the usual joy for ARMY as it is the birth month of BTS’ lead dancer, j-hope. For the fans, it is a great opportunity to shower the members with lots of love by organizing birthday projects around the city of Seoul and in various countries around the world.
In the much anticipated birthday live on Weverse, j-hope greeted the fans and expressed his gratitude for the love they’ve been showering him with for a decade. The live broadcast ended with ARMYs around the world conveying their appreciation for his existence and wishes for his eternal happiness. About a week after the joyous celebrations, on February 26, came heart sinking news for ARMY.
A Weverse notice announced that j-hope had applied for the termination of his enlistment postponement and thus will be leaving soon to fulfil his military duties. In South Korea, every able bodied man has to fulfil their military duty by enlisting themselves in the Korean army for 18 to 21 months. BTS began their duty with Jin, the eldest of the group, enlisting in December of 2022. j-hope entered on April 18, 2023, giving a temporary pause to his musical career. Four months in and barely a day goes by when his beloved ARMY doesn’t think of him.
Jung Hoseok, who took up the stage name j-hope at the time of his debut, is also sometimes nicknamed ‘Bangtan's Hope’ simply due to his nature of sowing hope and cheer in the band and the fans even in times of despair. Prior to his departure, j-hope released what he called his gift for ARMY. In March, his song On The Street was released, featuring j-hope's long time idol J. Cole.
It was indeed a gift for ARMY and through the lyrics, j-hope was able to express how the fans’ love gave him strength in his walk towards his goals. The song was an effort to leave the fans with something to hold onto while he was gone. A day before BTS’ tenth anniversary on June 12, 2023 came a letter in which j-hope sincerely wrote about how without BTS by his side on their debut anniversary, he might have felt a little lonely. His letter was like the sun peaking through the clouds on a gloomy day, golden and warm.
It’s amazing how a word can remind people of someone they cherish and admire beyond expression. Hope is that word for ARMY. It’s the new blooms in spring and the first fall of snow in winter. j-hope’s presence is missed not only by the fans, but equally by his band members who must feel his absence every time they enter the dance practice room. Dance and j-hope have always been inseparable, and to think that we won’t be able to witness his jaw dropping performances for an entire year feels like the worst version of reality.
Hope is the thing which gives humans the ability to see color even on a monochrome canvas. It wouldn’t be wrong to say that j-hope is the personification of hope itself for many people and with him gone, we can only hold onto the song he left us and wait for his eventual return.
The person who calls himself ARMY’s hope has indeed dispelled our fears and agony, and we are earnestly looking forward to the day we will reunite with him. As John Keats mentions in his poem, “To Hope”, “So, when dark thoughts my boding spirit shroud, / Sweet Hope, celestial influence round me shed / Waving thy silver pinions o’er my head!”
We have our memories to remind us to keep living under the unwavering light of hope. Until the dry winds of October 2024 bring the golden sunshine with them. Until we meet again.
Written by: Amna
Edited by: LJ
Designed by: ThornToHisRose
ARMY Magazine does not own any of the photos/videos shared in our blog. No copyright infringement intended.