David Malouf (‘The States of the Nation’, August 2010) raises issues about the real import of Anzac Day. Malouf quite rightly refers to “the understanding that war is not sport. That it involves injury, trauma, death, and … a sense of irreparable loss”. Certainly. Descriptions of the Gallipoli event and aftermath are as gruesome as war scenes can be – there were not even enough hospital ships to rescue soldiers before they died on the beach. But the tenor of Anzac Day now is to recall it as a famous victory. When I stand in the crowd I feel the children waving flags believe they are celebrating a national triumph, when it was actually a national disaster. The danger is that children will grow up believing shooting people is the way to solve disputes.