By the Korean War, Nosal said, there was "a conscious decision to return all the remains back home," with technological advances speeding the process. A new overseas memorial -- not a cemetery -- will open next year in Busan, South Korea, in the United Nations Memorial Cemetery and Peace Park.
Various travel companies bring Americans to these cemeteries and other war sites.
Vietnam veteran Butch Sincock, president of Pennsylvania's MilSpec Tours, believes showing them to a new generation is important. Even if veterans themselves aren't able to go, those close to them can; some of his European tours have included family members of George C. Marshall, an architect of the post-war plan to rebuild Europe.
"World War II vets are literally dying out, unfortunately," Sincock said, "but some of their adult children are taking interest."
Carol Malone's son, Bruce, is superintendent of the commission's Rhône Cemetery in France. Himself a military veteran, he said "it is an emotional event to visit, but we also show the families the level of care we take for these beautiful memorials. That helps sometimes, that their families, these soldiers are being taken care of very well. It also helps to put into context what happened where they died, and what they were fighting for."
Bruce Malone first learned at age 12 that his grandfather was buried in Belgium after he was killed in 1944. The knowledge "sparked a love of military history ever since. I can understand what it means to the family to have a relative who never came home."
It was his research that inspired his mother to visit the overseas cemetery on Memorial Day 2004. She weeps now to remember it.
"All you see is row after row of white crosses," Carol Malone said. "You just stand there and you are speechless. You can't imagine until you see it in person, I always think how many gave their lives."
As overwhelming to her was the love locals showed the cemetery.
"One thing I will never forget, the hundreds of people at the memorial," she said. "The Belgian people are so thankful now. There is a group that has adopted my father's grave.
They put out flowers and visit my father's grave."
Young Americans might benefit most from a visit, Carol Malone said.
"I don't think it would have been a free country had these men and women not gone over and fought," she said. "We would be living a different life and these young people need to see this."