Decorated soldier Philip Favel, like many First Nation people who enlisted to fight in World War II, was not supported in doing so by his community, according to this video of First Nation remembrances posted by the Saskatchewan government in Canada.
November 11 marks Remembrance Day, which is more like the U.S.’s Memorial Day than the Veterans Day it coincides with, though living veterans are celebrated as well.
Serving as a driver in Europe during the war, Favel saw many things he wished he hadn’t. The worst were the most vulnerable, who he couldn’t help, he says in this 16-minute reminiscence.
“I seen two little kids—a little boy and a little girl,” he says. “The sunrise was just coming up, and two little kids were standing beside the road. The little boy didn’t have nothing on, the little girl had a panty on.”
He holds out his hands in a begging gesture.
“They were doing this,” he says. “Both crying. They were hungry.”
The sight haunts Favel to this day, he tells the camera.
“Where did they sleep? How did they keep warm?” he says. “But we couldn’t stop, we had to go. I always think about them, those little kids.”
Watch the video below for these and other moving recollections on this day of remembrance across Canada and the Commonwealth.