Friday, April 8, 2011

Draw a Bird Day

Hello there! Today is Draw a Bird Day, also known as DAB Day. It was first begun in 1943 and is celebrated every year on April 8.

One day in England, in 1943, a 7 year old girl named Dorie Cooper went to the hospital with her mother to visit her uncle who had been wounded in the war. When Dorie and her mother arrived, she could see that her uncle was very unhappy. You see, he had lost his right leg to a land mine. Dorie thought of what she could do to cheer him up. She said, "Draw a bird for me, please." Although he was feeling blue, he decided to do as Dorie had asked. He looked out the hospital window and drew a picture of a robin.

Upon seeing the picture that her uncle had drawn, Dorie "laughed out loud and proclaimed that he was not a very good artist, but that she would hang the picture in her room nonetheless." Dorie's uncle was tickled by her reply and his spirit's were instantly lifted. This event brightened not only his day but several other wounded soldier's day as well. Every time Dorie came to visit thereafter, drawing contests were held to see who could draw the best bird picture. Within several months, the entire hospital ward's walls were covered with drawings of birds.

Three years later, the unimaginable happened, Dorie was struck by a car and died from her injuries. At her funeral, Dorie's coffin was filled with bird images that had been drawn by soldiers, doctors and nurses from the hospital where her uncle had been. Every year since then, the little girl who had brought hope and joy to those downhearted soldiers is honored on her birthday, April 8, as the men and women who remember her draw pictures of birds.

Although it was never declared an official holiday, the legacy of Dorie's gift continues to grow. Today, Draw a Bird Day is celebrated worldwide "as a way to express joy in the very simplest of things and as a way to help soldiers everywhere forget war and suffering if only for a short time."

How do we celebrate Draw a Bird Day?
It's simple really. We draw a bird. And after we draw a bird we share our picture of a bird with someone we love. To get you started, here's a video from a 13 year old girl named Katie, who teaches very simple, but cute drawings of all kinds of animals, including birds. Have fun, and remember... "The bird, bird, bird, bird is the word!" :0)

Source: DAB Day
Image: Amy Mahon

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