Caitlin Langone usually doesn't tell people how the Sept. 11 terror attacks affected her life.
She was 11 years old when her father, Tommy Langone, a police officer and volunteer firefighter in Queens, died. He was a first-responder, killed when the World Trade Center's twin towers collapsed.
But you might be surprised why Caitlin -- who is profiled in Children of 9/11, a documentary airing at 9 p.m. Monday on NBC -- usually chooses not to share her story with others.
"I personally don't mind talking about it," she says. "It doesn't cause me to become emotionally overwhelmed. In fact, I'm happy to share about Daddy.
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"But I try to consider the other person's point of view. I feel badly for them. I have the knowledge that I was a victim. I've been able to process and deal with it for 10 years. But when I tell somebody who doesn't know, they have to process it within, like, 30 seconds, and they don't know what to say.
"And I almost feel guilty for putting them in an awkward place."
Caitlin and 10 other young people who lost parents on Sept. 11 are featured in Children of 9/11.
Some have been able to cope, to move on and to lead happy, productive lives. Caitlin is among that group. She graduated from State University of New York at New Paltz in August and now works at a PetSmart store in Kingston, N.Y., as a pet trainer. She hopes to become a therapy dog handler.
She dislikes it when anyone "coddles" her because of her loss on 9-11. "You don't have to treat me with kid gloves," she says. "You don't have to feel awkward about it."
But other children of 9-11, unfortunately, haven't proved to be so resilient.
The film is one of many poignant themed programs that will air this week leading up to the 10th anniversary of that terrible day.
The programming ranges from live commemoration coverage on news channels such as CNN, Fox News and MSNBC to specials on practically every cable network examining every facet of 9-11.
Caitlin says she hopes all this programming will result in "a more personal connection" to 9-11 for viewers, "aside from the consequences of having to take your shoes off at the airport and no one having 3-ounce bottles and all the inconveniences."
Caitlin was in school when a teacher told her class that planes had hit the twin towers.
"A girl in my grade had a father who worked for Cantor Fitzgerald and he was on the 110th floor of the north tower," she remembers. "She was hysterical when we found out that the planes had hit."
Caitlin was naturally worried for her classmate. All the while, she knew her father would probably go to the scene to try to help, but it didn't occur to her that he also could be in serious danger.
"Only after everything had happened did we find out that we were both victims of it," she says.
That said, the two girls didn't bond for life as a result of their shared loss.
"People sort of thought we would become friends," Caitlin says. "But we never had anything in common beforehand. We still didn't have anything in common, outside of losing our fathers."
She makes that point because she thinks it's too easy for people to lump all 9-11 victims into one like-minded group. She prefers to be treated as an individual, she says.
That's why she participated in the Children of 9/11 documentary.
"I noticed there were a lot of victims groups that became prominent and they would say, 'We represent the 9-11 families and the 9-11 families want this,'" Caitlin says. "I always felt like, 'Well, no, actually you're not representing me or my family. Our views might actually be quite a bit different.'
"So I felt like the documentary was my opportunity to tell my story in my own words. This is me saying it how I want to say it: my reaction, my expressions, my everything.
"I figure if you don't tell your story, especially with something like this, somebody else is going to tell it for you -- and you might not like how they tell it."