Yesterday was my Dad's birthday. He is very into WWII, and part of the reason I love the 1940's.
I bought him a couple war movies, one being Battle of the Bulge starring Henry Fonda. Some war movies are completely fictitious, and others are very pro-American propaganda (usually ones made during the war). However, I found Battle of the Bulge to be informative, eye opening, and accurate (something my Dad confirmed). I'm not as familiar with the European side of the war as I am with the Pacific Theatre. I was shocked to find out that America had NO CLUE about the attack the German's were planning, and that we nearly lost the Battle of the Bulge.
I feel it is very, very important to watch realistic movies about WWII or read accounts of the men who fought. We need to understand the depth of that war. We need to understand why the homefront was saving scrap metal, rationing, carpooling, and planting victory gardens. Every time I watch an old movie about the war, I am shocked at what our soldiers endured and sacrificed. I ache when I think of what they had to process when they got home, and the memories they had to live with for the rest of their lives.
If you see a veteran, please do not hesitate to walk up to them and say "Thank you. I appreciate your sacrifice." They gave more than we will ever know.