Surviving September 11th by Dan Holdridge
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COLUMBIA - Dan Holdridge is a man who lived only because he was late.

"I was like please God, give me some hope," said Holdridge, survivor of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.

Had he been on time, Holdridge would have been dead.

"I said don't worry Dad, it's the Pentagon. It's a fortress. My telling of the story across the country is not for the shock and awe...We already had that," said Holdridge.

On this day at Woodcrest Chapel, some people arrived late to hear the beginning of Dan Holdridge's message.

But to Holdridge, they were "right" on time.

"On Sept. 11 there were several things that caused me to be late. One of the things was that I called my Dad to let him know about New York. That delayed me," said Holdridge.

Dan Holdrige was headed to the Naval Command Center on Sept. 11, but stopped ato keep his colleague, Bobby Shelby, company while Shelby took a smoke break. He also took time out to call his Dad.

"After speaking with him, that could have been the last time speaking with him. I hung up with my Dad and caught up with my colleague Bobby Shelby, flipped open my cell phone browser and started reading about New York. I was reading through and said 'Bobby, what's next, the Pentagon?' And then, three, two, one...boom," Holdridge said.

Holdridge and his coworker were knocked unconscious. When they woke up, the walls of the Pentagon were crashing around them.

"To our right, a fireball was coming at us. And to our left was the center courtyard. When we got there, people started screaming, 'You've been hit! You've been hit!' I didn't understand what that meant and I looked down and I was covered in blood," said Holdridge

"My main purpose is to honor 184 lives that died next to me. Remember when we had those flags hanging from the bridges and we had them in our cars? We did all those things. Where did that go?" asked Holdridge.

Dan Holdridge now travels the country talking about weapons of "mass appreciation".

"I learned that everyone in the Naval Command Center died. That was where I was heading. I was just delayed," Holdridge said. "I thank God he gave me a second chance at life."

Had he not stopped to call his father, he could have been dead.

"You have that ability today to go tell those people that you love them." said Holdridge

"That being late for the right reasons is okay, and that getting delayed is sometimes okay. That's why I'm here. "

Holdridge's colleague, Bobby, also survived the attack. Dan came to Columbia to speak to a group called "The Business Advantage." For more information on Dan Holdridge or his book, "Weapons of Mass Appreciation", check out his website at www.danholdridge.com.

 

 

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"You don't have to
survive a terrorist
attack to learn
from one."

~ Dan Holdridge

 

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