» People » David Byler 1946-2020 was 8th generation Croatian-American and permanent correspondent of the CROWN
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David Byler 1946-2020 was 8th generation Croatian-American and permanent correspondent of the CROWN
Listed among twenty greatest Croatian Americans in the USA
White House, Washington DC. Croatian American delegation for the White House briefing
on Immigration, Healthcare, Economy and Foreign Policy Agenda.
L-R Dragan Chach Cacinovic, David Byler, Steve Rukavina, Anne Pavlich and Nenad Bach.
Music by Nenad Bach. Video by David Byler.
David Byler (June 14, 1946 - April 8, 2020) served as a Lutheran Pastor as well as a permanent correspondent of the Croatian World Network - CROWN. Being an eighth generation Croatian-American, he has contributed in the past years some extremely interesting and insghtful articles to our readers. His wisdom, knowledge, passion and perserverence will be missed by us all. He is listed among twenty greatest Croatians in the USA. David liked to be nicknamed Slavonac (Slavonia is a historical region on the North of Croatia). We express our sincere condolences to his family.
After World War II, in America parents began to teach phone numbers and addresses to their children so they knew how to get home. David Byler's parents taught him a little "poem" so he could find his way Home. Home, almost three hundred years ago, was a little town in western Slavonia.
David had a career in international forest products sales and transportation. He has had another career as a Lutheran Pastor. David was producing music videos with which he hoped to attract both Croatians of all kinds and non-Croatians to the priceless treasure of Croatian culture.
In 2019, he converted to Catholicism. More about David Byler and his views can be seen on his blog:
David Byler and Nenad Bach during their first encounter in 2013
PLOVI BROD IZ AMERIKE - Džo Maračić-Maki
A few weeks ago when I heard this song again, I was reminded of all the Croatian seamen who go out into the Gulf of Mexico to fish, to shrimp, to dredge for oysters, to work on the oil rigs, and who are on ships carrying cargo back and forth from here to Europe and really to the whole world.
Some of them spend months away from home, others are gone for years. Some never get to go home. Some never go on board a ship. Some stand barefoot in the sand looking out across the sea towards Home with hot tears running softly down their cheeks. For some, the last voyage Home is the Last Voyage forever. But we all wish the same things. We wish freedom and prosperity for the Home and somehow, sometime, we wish for that boat sailing from America towards the beaches of Home.
I asked Džo Maki if I could dedicate his song on this video to all the Croatian seamen especially in the region of the Gulf of Mexico. He agreed. I met Džo Maki last April (2013) at the Croatian - American Ball in Houston. He is a very personable and fine gentleman, very talented and very gracious. I am honored to count him among my friends.
On 8 July down here we shall have the "Blessing of the Fleet." Perhaps you will see some of that on video right here. Perhaps you will see the Croatian flag flying too!
I wrote my own little "poem" as a dedication to Maki's song -
from Florida to Tampico there are hundreds and hundreds even thousands Croatian seaman go to their boats in the hours of the morning which other people name as night
some are away from shore for hours others are upon the sea for weeks some remain upon the shore
everyone dreams that one day he will be upon a boat from America which will find the coast of his beloved Homeland
for some this happens every year for many this never happens until they are a box of ashes returning
everyone lives as near the shore as possible even when we are old we look across the sea to the east some dampness in our eyes perhaps someday someday there will be plovi brod iz Amerike carry us to the coast of our Homeland
with Džo Maračić-Maki's permission the tiny Croatian community in Brownsville Texas dedicates Maki's wonderful song and this small video to all those Croatian men who are each day upon the Gulf of Mexico or who stand upon its shores and who all dream one dream together ... There is one woman in our lives who is above all others she wears a blue skirt and a red blouse she wears a white sash tied together with a red and white checkered buckle she is our favorite lady her name is Hrvatska we wish to see her again before we die.
I hope you understand about the woman with the blue skirt. These days, its the only skirt in her wardrobe. With the help of God, it will always be the only skirt in her wardrobe. Any other woman who has ever come into my life has had to understand that I would lay down my life for my lady in the blue skirt and red blouse. She has always been and always will be my true mother, my true sister, and my true love all in one. That last statement might be incomprehensible to anyone who is not Croatian in their heart, none-the-less, it is true.
Join me in listening to this song as we stand in the sand looking out across the waves waiting for that boat which will finally sail from America to our Home
Do sljedeći put, blagoslov - until next time, blessings,