Peder Madsen (left) designed the 9/11 T-shirt worn by his brother David Madsen (right). The project is raising funds for those impacted by 9/11 and hope the T-shirt design makes it all the way to New York City.

Veteran continues fight for American spirit to prevail over tragedy

It has been said, “A true hero isn’t measured by the size of his strength, but by the strength of his heart.” If that is true, Peder Madsen is quite the hero. His heart feels so strongly for a nation he once defended, that he has spent years coming up with a way to continue to show his compassion for one of the country’s biggest tragedies.

This year is the twentieth anniversary of the September 11 attacks, but Madsen remembers it like it was yesterday. He said, “I always get up early in the morning. I couldn’t believe what was happening that morning on the T.V. news. I was devasted.” He said he immediately said he felt compelled do to something to help.

Madsen, is a 70 percent disabled Vietnam Veteran, currently living in Stillwater, Minnesota. “I was in the infantry in Vietnam and the camaraderie with everyone was pretty strong. Everyone’s job was to save each other’s lives. I got shot in Vietnam in the right lung, but I absolutely am proud of the country I live in. Grandfathers and fathers fought for our country and since I am the oldest in my family, I felt like it was my duty,” he said.

Seeing 9/11 unfold brought back a lot of memories of Vietnam to Madsen. “Medivac saved my life. They kept slapping me across the face, telling me if I closed my eyes I would be gone. The death and destruction of people over there is something I will never forget and 9/11 reminded me of it,” said Madsen.

David, Madsen’s brother, said he clearly remembers that his brother was shot May 22, 1967. “I know that because that is the day I reported to Basic Training. I was on the Parade Field with a thousand other guys and they called my name out. They took me to the Base Commander, who told me my brother had been shot,” said David. Because his older brother had been shot, they decided to send David to Germany instead of Vietnam.

It took a few years to get his plan rolling, but the elder Madsen designed special artwork to remember 9/11/01. He had this copyrighted in 2011 and has finally made his dream come to life by putting the design on T-shirts and other apparel.

“He worked on this for years,” said David, who is also very passionate about the project.

The artwork design is a combination of the events that happened on September 11, 2001 (9/11/01.) The design is made to look like the date written in numerals 9/11/01.

The center of the 9 is the shape of the State of Pennsylvania and the plus sign marks the hole in the ground where the 757-airplane crashed. The side view of the 757 airplane that crashed in Pennsylvania makes up the remainder of the 9.

The frontal view of the 767 airplane that crashed into the South Tower is placed at an angle to represent the slash between the 9 and 11.

The two Towers represent the 11.

The frontal view of the 767 airplane that crashed into the North Tower is placed at an angle to represent the slash between the 11 and the 01.

The top view of the Pentagon represents the 0 in 01.

The side view of the 757 that crashed into the Pentagon represents the 1 in 01.

“The flag of the United States of America reminds us that this tragedy took place on America’s soil. We remember.”

The description of the artwork is included with the purchase of every shirt. “I wanted each person wearing one, including children, to know the meaning,” said Madsen.

A portion of the profits will be donated to help our Fallen Heroes, Veterans, First Responders and their families.

David Madsen and his wife Jeanne live in Amery and were able to help Peder partner up with Amery’s Sports and More to get his design printed onto apparel.

Madsen said his dream was always to get his T-shirts on the Internet, but didn’t know if it could actually happen, now that it has, his next dream is for his T-Shirts to reach New York City. Watching his dreams come true is just one of the ways Madsen feels lucky. He said, “Every time I am at the V.A. Hospital, I see people with missing parts and it gets to me because nobody can look at me and see my injury. I am also fortunate because many lost their lives in war before 9/11, on 9/11 and in war after.”


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