TODAY   |  May 02, 2011

9/11 victim’s kin: Bin Laden will be judged by God

The Bratton family, who lost their daughter Michelle in the 9/11 attacks on the World Trade Center, say in an emotional interview they are “overwhelmed” that Osama bin Laden was killed and now the al-Qaida mastermind “will be judged by God.”

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This content comes from Closed Captioning that was broadcast along with this program.

>> so much. behind the name of every 9/11 victim is a story of a life cut too short. michelle renee bratton was just 23 years old when she was tragically killed in the world trade center on september 11 , 2001 . her brother is a member of our "today" show family and his parents, their parents -- bill and mary -- are joining us now via skype. chris , bill and mary , good morning to you all.

>> good morning.

>> i'm going to start with your father, bill and ask what you think about what the president has said. he said, quote, justice has been served. in your view, do you agree?

>> yes. i do. i think that it took a long time but we did it well. we did it right. i think god was with us. we had no casualties. you know, he will be judged now by god.

>> mary , i know that you it shall when you heard this news from chris i understand you were up late listening to all of this and that you were in a state of shock . this morning, have you been able to sort out your feelings about this?

>> yes. this morning i'm happy that we got bin laden . i didn't expect we were ever going to find him. like the news said last night that he would probably die of natural causes being he had problems. i'm overwhelmed that we have gotten him. i think, yes, justice has been done. unfortunately i think that a lot of, you know, negative things may come out of this. but thank god that bin laden has been captured.

>> chris , you know, you have also been talking about this emotional development overnight that's brought back so much. your sister, michelle , 23. how would you describe your baby sister , who she was?

>> full of life. she lived every day to the fullest. we all miss her dearly. i honored her, naming my daughter after her. shortly before 9/11 happened she was fitted to be in my wedding. what happened here with osama is not going to bring her back, obviously, but it puts it in perspective for us that justice has been served. i just hope for everybody that nothing else comes of this.

>> bill and mary , i know this also brings back for you a particular conversation because your sister -- excuse me, your daughter had just started working really a month before in the world trade center building. when the attack was going on, you were on the telephone with her.

>> yes. that's correct. on that morning my husband had just gone back to work and was on a conference call with work. we heard that a plane had hit the building. you know, ran down stairs. the only thing i could say was, jesus, mary and joseph, help us. we got to the tv set , turned it on and saw the building billowing with black smoke . the phone rang behind us. i grabbed hold of it and it was michelle . she said, mom -- and i'm like, shelly, where are you? she said, mom -- in a very monotone voice -- she said, mom, i think i'm on the 104th floor. it's hot. mom, it's smoky. mom, please help me get out. i wish we could have. we told her we loved her. she was a life guard so we told her to remember her life-saving and save the people she was with and try to get water on her face and keep trying to get out and that we would be there to get her when it was over.

>> at that point we heard in the background somebody say it was time to go. so we told michelle obviously we were going to be waiting for her when she got home. you know, we're kind of still waiting but obviously we know she's not coming. you know, wait all day and you watch the tower go down and you wonder and you wonder. it was the same for a lot of families. it's not just us.

>> somehow, i don't know why, but the feeling was overwhelming that morning also. i kept screaming, the buildings are going to come down. somebody has to tell the people to get away. the buildings are going to come down. i don't know what it was. it was just an overwhelming feeling in my heart. i knew they were going to come down before they did.

>> mary and bill, you honor your daughter in showing us how much you loved her and miss her still, even after all these years. ten years. chris , you never got to say good-bye.

>> no.

>> if you could, what would you say?

>> just tell her that i love her. and, you know, live our lives to the fullest like she would. hope she appreciates me naming my daughter after her.

>> chris , i don't know how she could have responded but of course she appreciates it. i'm sure she'd tell you that she loves you back. thank you so much. mary and bill, thank you so much for joining us this morning. i know this has been a last-minute interview because of the events of this morning. we hope that some way in time this will all bring you some peace. thank you.

>> thank you very much.

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