In a sealed letter to his brother, to be opened in the event of his death, MacDonald offered comfort and a challenge:he reminded family and friends that ''freedom isn't a moment in life; it is life. The plight of human suffering consumed me and I dedicated much to trying to find the ideas that might lead humankind toward alleviating it for all. If you know anything about me, you know that. Understand it and come to understand how the suffering of others tormented my soul. Then, seek to honor my memory by trying to achieve what I could not."
At 29, Gregory MacDonald, ''Mac" to the men of Company B, 4th Light Armored Reconnaissance Battalion, was the old man of his unit, a scholar with a degree in philosophy, graduate training in Near East Studies, and a halting command of Arabic he taught himself.
It was a background that ''made for great debates and intense discussions" in the unit, a fellow gunner, Lance Corporal Benjamin G. Ferris, wrote to the MacDonalds. ''The war actually brought Mac closer to his dream: bringing freedom and peace to an area of the world ravaged by war and sadists."
Peacemaker is not the conventional view of Marines in a war zone, but Arthur and Diana MacDonald are learning that that is how others saw their son, how he saw himself. Read On.
Boston.com / News / Local / Honoring a fallen son