Today marks fifteen years since September 11th, 2001. I remember that day so vividly. I was in eighth grade and missed my bus that morning. On the way to school, my mom stopped by Hardee’s to get me a biscuit. We waited at a red light coming out of the restaurant, and a news report came on the radio breaking into the local top 40’s morning show. A plane had flown into the North Tower of the World Trade Center. I could hear the fear in the reporter’s voice as he covered the tragedy. Suddenly, he fell silent then yelled, “Oh my God! Another one hit the other tower!”
I’ll never forget my mother’s words when she looked at me and said, “Hope, this isn’t an accident.”
The lives lost as well as the heroes who gave up everything to save others will always be remembered. Families will never fill the hole left in the wake of losing their loved ones. Even those who were states away like me were affected in one way or another. Everything changed that day.
That includes entertainment as well. Whether it’s comics, movies, television, radio shows, and everything in between, there’s been a shift of writing since then. That’s not what I’m here to talk about today though.
Instead, I want to share a tribute to those lost on this day. It comes from one of my favorite anime called Hetalia. The base premise of Hetalia is the nations of the world are personified, and they take you through history. For example, America is a blonde hair, blue eyed man who loves cheeseburgers and snooping into everyone’s business. Canada is his younger brother. England is a man with thick eyebrows, loves tea and magic, is prideful, and uses dry humor. It’s a fun show that really captured my love of history.
Youtube user Iammathewian created a fan video in response to September 11th called “Chapstick.” It’s an adaptation of a fanfiction written by Haphazrd. The focus is on Canada, whose human name is Matthew. He notices his brother Alfred, who is America, get a nosebleed. The event that followed was their absolute worst fear. It plays on the fan theory that if people in a country feels pain, then the Nation People are physically injured from it. They are the embodiment of their people. What I love about this video is the reaction other Nation People have to the disaster. It uses real audio and videos from the event, so I must warn you there are some graphic moments.
“Chapstick” has become my yearly tradition to watch every September 11th. It’s a beautiful video that truly honors those who were lost while showing the harsh realities of that day. I wanted to share it with you, dear reader, to remember what happened fifteen years ago.