Audience Comments

Read what others are saying about Dan Holdridge

Mr. Dan Holdridge:

I want to thank you immensely for re-kindling my passion for helping others. The Lions motto “WE Serve” will be revived by all who were at the N. S. Lions Club meeting to hear you talk last night. If we can apply the concept that something good can come out of tragedy, after last nights talk, I’m sure that you are one “good thing” that fits that concept ! Well done ! As a lifelong NoSto resident myself, I can feel the pride in community that you felt last night in coming home.

In that vein, I would like you to take a look at the attached TED talk by F.K. Day. The NOG person from Zambia that he speaks of is non other than fellow N.S. resident and “Swamp Yankee”, Bruce Wilkinson. I met F.K. at Bruce’s Wyassup lake cottage 10 years ago and was inspired to ride my bike across the U.S. in support of World Bicycle Relief. I put you and Bruce into that box of N.S. resident who have helped change the world for the better. And there are many others, past and future, who will join your ranks; people coming out of the North Stonington’s community and school system to help better the world. I am on the North Stonington Education Foundation and would like to somehow get your message to them and the community that we serve. I have cc’d Chris Anderson, NSEF President, to connect us all and hopefully we can put our heads together and continue this amazing legacy of N.S. people making the world a better place in the future !

Dan is truly an inspirational speaker. He spoke to our group of over 300 people during a luncheon and when he spoke, you could literally hear a pin drop. His story and his message, the way he tells it, have a lasting impact.

Carl Pitruzzello
Co-Chair, National Philanthropy Day Association of Fundraising

I would like to thank you for being our featured keynote Guest Speaker at the Boeing Aerospace Leadership Chapter (BALC) monthly General Membership Meeting (GMM) on May 15, 2013. Your speech was outstanding and reflects our mission in leadership at BALC. As a reference point, BALC is the NMA’s largest chapter in Orange County with over 980 members. At our website, you can click on the calendar of events, and for May 15, 2013 you will see your name as our honorary guest speaker at the General Membership Meeting.

The BALC GMM audience that was in attendance on May 15, 2013 has expressed to me that they thoroughly enjoyed your speech, “Purpose Conduit, Pentagon Prayer and Surviving 9/11”. They have sent me notes indicating that they left the GMM motivated, uplifted, invigorated, entertained and pleased. I received several emails stating what a wonderful speaker you are and how happy they are they came to the GMM.

We at BALC want to formally say Thank You and to let you know that we appreciate you coming to address our organization.

Thanks again, you are an excellent speaker and made the May 15th GMM a true success.

Steven W. Stakley
2013 VP Programs, BALC


Dear Mr. Holdridge,
I recently heard you speak at the BBYO Convention this weekend. I already told you that day that I did my homework but I want to share with you what happened when I got home.

My parents first question about the weekend was, who is this speaker that influenced you so much. I began to tell them about your story when your message hit me. I couldn’t help but tear up when I thought about those 90 minutes your family didn’t know if you we’re alive. It was so difficult to even think about your situation. I’m so glad that I shared your story with them because we can now all appreciate every moment together and make the best of the time together.

Aside from having an amazing story, you are an incredible speaker. From past experiences I’ve realized it’s difficult to keep teens interested for an hour. Not only did you hold the attention of all 500 of us, but I think it’s safe to say that you moved, and inspired each and everyone of us. I know my peers and I definitely left the room with a new perspective on life. From that point on, I’m going to live every moment like it’s my life and make the best decisions I can.

I cannot thank you enough for speaking to us because you taught me so many meaningful lessons.

Thank you again!
Hayley C, Catskills, NY


As Vice President of the Board of Directors of Cornell Cooperative Extension Association of Jefferson County, New York, I am delighted to say how pleased we were to have Dan Holdridge as our keynote speaker at the kickoff of our celebration of one hundred years of our organization. Dan’s presentation was received with much acclaim by all who attended. Dan’s relatings of his experiences on 9-11 brought a closeness to the events that almost all of the attendees had never experienced. It was awe inspiring to meet him as a survivor, to learn what he continues to go through as he continues his recovery, and to hear him share his hopes for all of our country as we reflect on the events of this memorable day in our country’s history.

Dan’s challenge to learn the importance of appreciation for all we have and to let go of feelings of entitlement was the perfect concept for our organization to think about as we approach our future challenges. Dan spoke eloquently and passionately about his experiences and I feel everyone left with a feeling that they can make a difference in someone else’s life.

From the moment you meet Dan you know that he is someone who is going to make a difference and his charismatic manner invites others to join him! Dan was well versed in the goals of our organization and was the perfect fit for our celebration. Dynamic, charismatic, empathetic, sympathetic, and, most of all, thought provoking “peppered with the appropriate amount of humor” these are the things that made Dan’s presentation such a special event for all of us.

Thank you Dan for allowing us to share this evening with you!


Cornell Cooperative Extension Association of Jefferson County
Centennial Celebration Kickoff and Annual Meeting, November 16, 2011
Dear Dan,
Thank you so much for your inspirational speech last Thursday at the AFP Connecticut National Philanthropy Da9D Conference held in Waterbury. I truly appreciate you taking your time to speak to this group of 300 fundraisers, philanthropist and award winners involved with fundraising throughout the State of Connecticut.

Your story and presentation are truly remarkable. I think everyone walked away with how truly appreciative we all should be. This was also very timely in this week of Thanksgiving.

Personally, I spoke to my children over the past few days and really discussed how appreciative we are and that we are not entitled to anything in life. I think it takes a little to get this message through to children but your speech and story has had an impact on me and I hope I can translate that to my children.

Again, on behalf of the Association of Fundraising Professionals and the University of New Haven, thank you for your time and your willingness to share your story.

All the best,
Carl Pitruzzello


Director of Advancement Services, University of New Haven Co-Chair Speakers, National Philanthropy Day Conference of Association of Fundraising Professionals

Dan is truly an inspirational speaker. He spoke to our group of over 300 people during a luncheon and when he spoke, you could literally hear a pin drop. His story and his message, the way he tells it, have a lasting impact.

Carl Pitruzzello
Co-Chair, National Philanthropy Day Association of Fundraising


Thank you so much for sharing your story with my students. We all got a lot out of your presentation. There were tears in the audience… but there was not a sense of hopelessness. You took a horrific event, which changed your life and those around you and made it into something positive. You opened our eyes to the collective nationalism felt after that tragedy and helped us to realize the strength there is in numbers. You are truly an inspiration and a commendable hero in my eyes. Good luck with your future endeavors and always remember “Imagine, Believe, Achieve” and anything is possible!

Ms Decker
Southington High School, Southington CT


I am pleased to recommend Dan, not only because he is an inspirational speaker and competent business leader, but more importantly, because he is a young man of high integrity, who walks the walk. Faith, family, friends- Dan lives his message.

Jim Abbiati
President, ABBS, LLC


Dan is skilled as a business leader and mentor. A man of the highest integrity and character, Dan’s has built a successful company with a highly functioning team in a few short years. Don’t be fooled, though, by his willingness to share credit for his company’s successes. He’s tough as nails.

Henry Kates
Partner, Reavis Cianciolo, LLC


If you are looking for a story of courage, triumph, patriotism and good old fashioned guts. You must hear Dan Holdridge’s miraculous tale as a survivor of the 9/11 attack on the Pentagon. His message is not one of hate and revenge, but of hope and humanity. You need look no further than Dan Holdridge if you need an inspirational infusion that your group will never forget!

Steve Tyra
Owner, Steve Tyra & Company


Dan is a gifted speaker who both inspires and motivates. His insights and sharing of his near death experience on 9/11/01, are not only a tribute to his lost colleagues but an example of the good that can come from every hardship.

Pat Yandell
Independent Marketing Consultant, EventsPlus Consulting

Dan guest lectured at several of my master’s-level leadership classes at University of New Haven. The insight and inspiration that the students gain from Dan’s story and life’s lessons are the bright spot for the course. Embedded in student’s final papers, Dan is referenced often and the profound impact he offered from his speech. His delivery and message are first class and truly transformational in nature.

Thad Henry
Professor, University of New Haven


Dear Dan,
Thank you so much for speaking at the 4-H Teen Leader Weekend. Your words and actions were truly inspirational to all of the teens and chaperones alike. Everyone was talking about your speech throughout the weekend. You have made a lasting impact.

Best regards,
Steve Dolat


Dear Dan,
Thanks for the clarity on setting priorities and seeing how God works through people to take tragedies and make them into gifts. Godspeed !

Thank you for sharing your story today. I was very moved and have been thinking about how blessed I am to have my family and the life that god has given me. I am very appreciative of all I have.

Thank you.
Ken Surdin


Your message was so clear and right on. I am so tired of people not wanting to be appreciative, but feeling they are entitled. Thanks so much for your sharing and willingness to say what it is we all feel. Only appreciation and it’s accompaning love can truly bring America back to where we all know it should be. God Bless
Coach Tony

It was a sincere pleasure listening to you while you were in Columbia, MO. Your experience is a true testament to the power of God. While you were discussing the fine line between appreciation and entitlement I thought of the many people I come into contact with through my job that are always waiting for the next hand out. It bothers me to see how are country has progressed to a nation of people who believe that they are entitled solely because they exist. I tell my children and my family that if we spend more of our time thinking about what we can do to make other people feel appreciated we won’t have time to waste thinking about all the problems in our life and creating a “woe is me” attitude. I would be honored to enlist in your “Army of Appreciation” to help spread the word. Your story needs to get out to the masses.
Chad Stewart

Dear Dan,
It was a pleasure for you to join us for the 74th National 4-H Conference. The Conference was a huge success thanks to so many individuals. Thank you for both your presentation to the entire delegation as well as your work in supporting a workshop.

Thanks again for all your hard work at the Conference, as well as for your continued follow-up with the delegates who participated in your workshop. Your ongoing interest and support of their work will surely make the Conference a more memorable experience for them.

Cathann A. Kress
Director, 4-H Youth Development, National 4-H Headquarters


Dear Dan,
I was fortunate enough to attend your speech at the conference. I came to watch Ashley do her Ambassador duties and to watch her receive and to watch her receive her Golden Clover award (proud mother), and was so moved by your speech. I am so glad that 3 of my children were also watching and listening to you on that day. I feel that you reached so many of us that day, not just me but everyone in that room. I thank you for making such a difference in the lives of us all.
May God continue to bless you,



Dear Mr. Holdridge,
It is with sincere gratitude that I write you in thanks for speaking to the students of Guilford High School’s Civics class. Your presentation was not only informative but engaging and moving as well. The way that you were able to bring the realities of your experiences from September 11, 2001 into the classroom had a tremendous impact on several students. Your message of transforming a tragic event into an opportunity for renewal is unparalleled and should be shared as often as possible.

I hope you will be available for future presentations. I cannot think of a more appropriate forum for public education and outreach than presenting at a public school.

Mr. James M. Colandrea
GHS Faculty Member


Dear Dan,
On behalf of the Daughters of Isabella, St. Mary Francis Circle, thank you for the wonderful presentation describing your experience of 9/11 and your faith-affirming response to that horrific event. May we all take to heart your message – “one person can make a difference.”
God bless you.

Patricia Menno-Covenry, Regent


Dear Daniel,
Please accept our most sincere thanks for your participation in our September 11th tribute at Old Saybrook Senior High School.

The faculty and students were touched by your experience and moved by your presentation. Many of the students were in elementary and middle school at the time and didn’t truly understand the impact of this horrific tragedy.

Your efforts will continue to strengthen their understanding and continue to remind us of how fragile life is. If I could be of any assistance in the future please do not hesitate to contact me.

Scott Schoonmaker
Principal, Old Saybrook High School, Old Saybrook, CT


Dear Mr. Holdridge,
On behalf of the faculty and students at Old Saybrook High School, I would like to thank you for spending the anniversary of September 11, 2001 with us. We especially appreciate your sharing your memories of that day while the Pentagon was being attacked, and how tragedy can bring out an individual’s inner strengths. Your message about turning something negative into something positive was appreciated by all of us. You know that students are really listening when you can hear a pin drop during a presentation; and I don’t remember our students ever being that captivated by a speaker– but they were with you. Thank you so very much for your generosity.

Carol B. Moakley
District Social Studies Chair
Old Saybrook Senior High School, Old Saybrook, CT