PORTLAND (AP) – An abandoned gas station in Buxton may become the site of Maine’s third memorial to veterans of the Korean War.

The York County town has memorials to World War I, World War II and the Vietnam War, but only a small marker commemorates the Korean War. The plan is to level the defunct Groveville Service Station and make it into a monument to what has been called “America’s Forgotten War.”

Selectman Bob Libby said many residents felt the town owed more to those who fought in Korea, 77 of whom came from Buxton.

“All the other wars were recognized but we skipped from World War II right over the Korean War,” said Libby, himself a World War II veteran.

The once-contaminated property, which was donated to the town by Jeff Bacon of Gorham, was the site of a $260,000 pollution cleanup funded by the state. The gas station closed a decade ago and Libby said the town has written assurance from the state that the one-tenth of an acre lot is now clean.

After a concrete garage on the property is demolished, town officials must select a design for the memorial and raise private funds to build it.

Officials have contacted the foundry that created the Korean War Memorial in Washington, D.C., which features a platoon of brass soldiers crossing a rice paddy. They are considering having one of the statues replicated for their own memorial.

“You like to think big, anyway,” said Libby, adding plans could change and it may take two years to complete the project.

Maine’s first Korean War memorial was built in Bangor in 1995. The second, erected two years later in Burnham, is dedicated to a local resident who won the Medal of Honor during the Korean War.

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