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SHIRLEY — The Korean War has been called the forgotten war, but for the families who sent loved ones into battle, it is always in their memory.

The Shirley Historical Society will be commemorating the sacrifices of these men and women at the museum at 182 Center Road, on Friday, Sept. 13, at 7:30 p.m.

In the U.S., the war was initially described by President Harry S. Truman as a “police action” as it was conducted under the auspices of the United Nations. It has been referred to as “The Forgotten War” or “The Unknown War” because of the lack of public attention it received both during and after the war, and in relation to the global scale of World War II, which preceded it.

The conflict began on June 25, 1950, when 75,000 Soviet-backed soldiers from the north crossed the 38th parallel and invaded the Republic of Korea to the south. President Truman announced that the U.S. would counter “unprovoked aggression” and “vigorously support the effort of the United Nations Security Council to terminate this serious breach of peace.”

Nearly five million soldiers and civilians lost their lives before the war came to an end three years later. Two of those were men from Shirley. Sixty other Shirley men and women served in the military during the Korean War; some at home, and some overseas. Many of these people shared their memories with the Shirley Historical Society; a scrapbook has been created to record their stories.

On display at the museum will be maps, photos and timelines of the war. There will be quotes from veterans and news articles that tell what was happening in Shirley while the soldiers were away.

On loan from the Fort Devens Museum will be information about the Army Security Agency, which was active at Fort Devens during this time.

There is no charge to attend the opening or to visit the Museum any Monday or Saturday. For information, call 978-425-9328 or email

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