April 8: Draw A Bird Day

red-tailed hawkAt first glance, this seemed like a rather silly day — Everybody draw a bird! It’s a holiday! But now that I’ve poked around a little, it seems to be a really amazing idea. Here’s the short version (see Draw a Bird Day for more info):

In 1943, seven year old Dorie Cooper’s uncle lost his leg in World War II, and Dorie went to visit him regularly in the hospital. While there, she asked him to draw her a bird. When he finished, she told him that he wasn’t a very good artist, but she was going to hang the picture up anyway. The other soldiers in the ward fell in love with little Dorie too, and soon everyone was drawing her pictures of birds.

European Robin

Three years later, Dorie passed away, and her coffin was covered with pictures of birds. In those three years, she cheered up so many people with her birds and the joy she had in such simple things, that they began a yearly celebration. On her birthday, April 8, people everywhere draw pictures of birds, share them, and show support for recovering soldiers everywhere.

“Praise be to the Lord,
who has not let us be torn by their teeth.
We have escaped like a bird
from the fowler’s snare;
the snare has been broken,
and we have escaped.
Our help is in the name of the Lord,
the Maker of heaven and earth.”

Psalm 124:6-8

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