KENT, Ohio (AP) _ A memorial to four Kent State University students killed when National Guardsmen fired on an anti-war demonstration May 4, 1970, may put an end to the controversy over the attack, says one of nine wounded students.

''We think that the creation of a proper memorial may well prove to be a turning point at Kent State,'' said Alan Canfora. ''The controversy about May 4 at Kent State may finally have come to an end.''

University trustees, in a special meeting Wednesday, accepted a recommendation by the May 4 Memorial Committee to build a memorial to the shootings, which occurred during a demonstration against the Vietnam War.

University President Michael Schwartz said the memorial would ''create a site in memory of those events and those students that is one of reflection and learning and peace on our campus.

''That was no small event in our history.''

Elaine Holstein, whose son, Jeffrey Miller, was killed in the shootings, said she had wondered if the school would ever acknowledge the event.

''It seems like an awfully long time to gain a little distance, but I suppose feelings were still too hot,'' she said. ''I certainly think a memorial is appropriate and I'm glad something is going to be done.''

The May 4 Memorial Committee had recommended that the proposed memorial be near Taylor Hall, the campus building closest to the site of the shootings.

The Memorial Committee, composed of students, school administrators, faculty, Kent residents and alumni, was formed by trustees in 1983 to determine the historical significance of the shootings after the May 4 Task Force, a student group, encouraged construction of a memorial.

''Since 1982, the members of May 4 Task Force have pursued a strategy of diplomacy and cooperation with the new president of Kent State,'' said Canfora, 35, shot in the right wrist during the 1970 incident. ''And we have always thought that with a new president at Kent State and a new governor in Columbus, that the time was right finally for a lasting monument at Kent State.''

James A. Rhodes was the governor who ordered the National Guard onto the campus during the 1970 demonstrations. Richard Celeste is governor now.

Schwartz said a nationwide competition would be sponsored to come up with a design for the memorial and that design and construction may take a year.

''I think the action by the board in accepting the report was a first step toward a really long process in completing the memorial,'' Schwartz said. ''The purpose is not to put anything to rest. The purpose is to memorialize first our own history and try to understand it.

''I think that as long as there are historians interested in that event ... then we won't put it to rest.''