Yesterday, July 23rd of 2016, was One Direction’s official six-year anniversary – a day that changed the lives of Louis Tomlinson, Harry Styles, Niall Horan, Liam Payne, and Zayn Malik forever. In addition to the lives of the five young men being changed, the lives of millions of fans all across the world were impacted too as an incredible journey between the band and their supporters began.
While One Direction and their fans have experienced some incredible times together, 2015 was a bit of a rough year beginning with Zayn’s departure from the band and ending with an X-Factor performance that solidified the end of the band’s first chapter. That’s right, in 2015 after years of being on the road and in and out of studios – it was announced in August that the boys would be taking some well deserved time off. The statement caused panic in fans immediately but Niall, Louis, Liam, and Harry took to social media outlets and promised fans that this was just some time off – nothing more solid than that – and that there was way more to accomplish together in the future.
This seemed pacifying enough until rumors from various news sources, specifically The Sun, kept quoting sources and making promises that the band would, in fact, not be returning to work together at all. From arguments between Louis and Harry to the fact that drugs played a part in the need for a hiatus and a slew of other berating rumors – frequently targeted at the aforementioned members – publications were hellbent on making sure a seed of doubt was planted for fans and that they’d be the first to say “we told you so” when the boys announced their “inevitable break up”.
The rumor mill didn’t stop spinning for months, it only intensified in the last few months as stories started to spread about solo projects by members of the band and more interviews were done where, again, people with no merit spoke on the future of One Direction with negative connotations. So with the approach of the six year anniversary, fans were looking for some reassurance – and they got it.
It started with a Tweet from the official One Direction account where Louis made a video for their fans and you could see the emotion on his face and hear it in his voice – it made fans start off the day with tears, but good ones.
— One Direction (@onedirection) July 23, 2016
“I just wanted to film a little message to say thank you because you guys are incredible. Your continued support is remarkable really and every single one of you had a hand in changing our lives and I hope you’re as proud as we are.”
If that wasn’t emotional enough, moments later Harry posted a tweet showing his extreme gratitude for what they’ve created with their fans over the last 6 years as well.
Six years. I have no idea how to say thank you for all your support. For everything you are, and everything you've done, thank you. H
— Harry Styles. (@Harry_Styles) July 23, 2016
Harry’s tweet coming so soon helped silence the cries of Harry being the “least caring member of the band” and “not knowing One Direction anymore”. It was lovely to see him show his gratitude in the face of constant rumors that his ties with One Direction are so far severed he can’t see them at all anymore.
6 years . wow ! As Louis touched in his message , each one of you have played in a part in changing lives..
— Niall Horan (@NiallOfficial) July 23, 2016
You are the best fans in the world as you know . . Thank you so much for everything so far.
— Niall Horan (@NiallOfficial) July 23, 2016
Moments after Niall tweeted, the words “So Far” were trending on Twitter – showing, as Louis said, how remarkable fans are for their continued support.
And if that weren’t enough, Louis took to Twitter again with a message that made the hearts of fans melt with a perfectly worded phrase at the end.
Read so many amazing tweets from you guys ! Thanks for sharing the memories with us .. Here's to many more ?
— Louis Tomlinson (@Louis_Tomlinson) July 23, 2016
After Louis read messages from kind fans he again had to thank them for everything they do and the cherry on the top was “Here’s to many more” – which also trended moments after Louis’ tweet.
Liam was the last to round out the group thanks, admitting he was ‘late for the party’ but his message of thanks was just as sincere, and that’s a beautiful thing coming from a man who spoke out about his solo project just two days ago and was met with some mixed responses. His heart, home, and family will always be with One Direction, and he reiterated for fans again that this is not the end.
Very late to the party but wow six years of us!! still so many more to come I've never been part of something so amazing
— Liam (@LiamPayne) July 24, 2016
So there you have it, from the boys themselves, promises of a bright future with One Direction full of more love, happiness, and home. Feels sort of perfect being able to say that in the face of all the nay-sayers and people who were just waiting for the pieces to crumble now doesn’t it? Looks like the boys will once again have the last laugh, and it’ll be with the best fans in the world.