Paul Claborn and his won Warren embarked on the trip of a lifetime this week.
They were traveling to Europe for a "reverse D-Day" tour. They were to start at the German concentration camps from World War II and work their way back to the coast where the D-day invasion took place.
"My son and I are beginning a journey that’s been on my bucket list since the summer of 1998," Paul said. "That summer, after watching the movie 'Saving Private Ryan,' my perspective on life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness became palpable. This movie was the catalyst for me to begin a really deep dive into American history.
"When our founding fathers signed their names to our Declaration of Independence, they knew what they were contemplating was a death sentence for them if captured. They also knew the concepts laid out had never been tried and the likelihood of failure was high. In England and the rest of the world, where monarchs and dictators ruled, if you were born a pauper, you died a pauper. If born a prince, you died a prince. America offered another path, one of upward mobility, regardless of which side of the tracks you were born on."
Paul and Warren's mission for the next 2 weeks is to travel the path the famed 101st Airborne Division took during the war, but in reverse.
To get ready for the trip, the Claborns re-watched "Saving Private Ryan," "Band of Brothers" and "Schindler’s List."
"I wanted my 20 year old son to see history un-sanitized," Paul said. "I want him to understand that liberty, the 2nd Amendment, is more precious than safety. I want him to see what men have built and, most importantly, I want him to see what men are capable of if evil is not challenged. The Greatest Generation served up that challenge on the beaches of Normandy 75 years ago. We must never forget that."
Paul lives in Guntersville, but owns a business, Wholesale Cars, in Albertville.
Last Thursday was the 75th anniversary of the D-Day invasion that ultimately liberated Europe from the control of Nazi Germany.