FRANKLIN LAKES, N.J. — When Jean Schlag Nebbia of Oakland talks about her brother, Steven Schlag, killed on 9/11, many emotions cross her face.
There is joy as she remembers how protective he was, laughter at how he teased her, and pain that he was taken from his family too soon.
Schlag, who lived in Franklin Lakes, was 41 and a partner at Cantor Fitzgerald when he reported to work that fateful day.
Fifteen years later, Nebbia is committed to keeping her brother’s memory alive by talking about him.
She is one of 800 people personally affected by the attacks who volunteer as tour guides at the Sept. 11 memorial plaza in New York City.
“I love the fact that at the 9/11 Tribute Center , I get to talk about my brother,” Nebbia said.
“It was a mass killing that day and when there’s a mass event, the individuality of those souls is almost lost,” she added. “When you say the person’s name and you show a picture, it creates that person for others.”
On Sunday, she will read a list of names at Ground Zero, including Steven’s.
On Sunday night, she will speak at a memorial service at the Franklin Lakes Memorial Pond.
Later Sunday night, she’ll talk again at the 15th Anniversary Memorial in Saddle Brook , where she and her siblings grew up.
“I’m very grateful they’re doing that in Saddle Brook,” she said. “How could I not be there?”
Nebbia feels unsafe in today’s world.
Her family, she said, has been terrorized three times.
In 1975, her uncle, Frank Connor, was killed by a FALN (Armed Forces of Puerto Rican National Liberation) bomb at Fraunces Tavern in Lower Manhattan.
In 1993, her brother was evacuated in the first World Trade Center bombing.
“My daughter works on Wall Street,” Nebbia said. “When she gets on the train, I hope that Steven is sitting beside her. He took the same train from the same train station.”
Nebbia puts a lot in God’s hands.
“That’s how I get through a day without being consumed,” she said.
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