By Rick Dayton

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PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — A 26-hour vigil was held over the weekend at Soldiers and Sailors Memorial Hall and Museum in Oakland.

The focus was to bring attention to the number of Americans who are still missing in action or are believed to be prisoners of war.

Every year, they gather to make sure we never forget.

“To make sure that no American in the history of our country is forgotten, especially those who were prisoners of war or missing in action,” said Jack Wagner, a Vietnam veteran.

The event is sponsored by Vietnam Veterans Incorporated.

Some march, others sing.

But all remind us there are 83,000 American servicemen and women still missing from World War II, Korea, The Cold War and Vietnam. They weren’t as fortunate as Saul Gross, who broke out of a German POW camp during World War II in April 1944.

“I was lucky enough that two people came by with a horse and wagon and got us out of that area, and right behind us was a forest with artillery shells going off,” Gross said.

The 95-year-old Gross started the event decades ago, and like Wagner, a former state senator and auditor general, makes it a priority to bring all soldiers home.

“There is a bond between Vietnam veterans and veterans in general that is unbreakable. It is reason why today we still say, ‘welcome home,’” said Wagner.

And through it all, they remind us to remember.

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