Six weeks after losing her father to cancer, Meghan McCain returned to work on Monday.
Meghan, 33, got emotional as she returned to The View, thanking supporters for their kind words as her family continues to grieve. Sen. John McCain died Aug. 25 after a battle with glioblastoma. He was 81.
As the crowd erupted with cheers, Meghan began, “I have missed all of you so much. Thank you so much … I have a lot of things to say … I just want to thank ABC and The View for giving me this time, to thank all of America for being so kind to my family.”
“From the second that my father passed … I had to get in a car and a motorcade … from the moment I left, there were people of all races, all ages, all creeds, people saluting, praying … he would’ve loved it,” she continued. “I cried the entire time. There was a lot of talk about what died with him … his ideals … but they didn’t.”
Meghan revealed that her father planned his entire funeral, down to the speeches. She also said that she believes he deliberately chose her to be the only woman to eulogize him.
Meghan also took a moment to thank her fellow hosts, Abby Huntsman, Whoopi Goldberg, Sunny Hostin, and Yvette Nicole Brown, who was standing in for Joy Behar, for helping celebrate her father’s life.
“On a personal note, the women at this table — I just want to start with you, Whoopi,” she said. “My father loved you, he really loved you … You are my family.”
“Abby,” she continued, “When my dad was first diagnosed, I got wasted with you … She was heavily pregnant and she watched me down Jack Daniels after Jack Daniels, and I threw up and her sister held my hair back.”
Then she turned to Brown. “Yvette, you prayed with me backstage. You’re a true friend … You have such wisdom about taking care of parents and the role we have to play as daughters especially to our fathers,” she said.
She told Hostin: “I just appreciate having you as a friend, as well. None of us at this table agree on very much when it comes to politics, but we’re all sisters here.”
Meghan concluded with a message about American values.
“My father always said, ‘We are Americans, and we can never surrender,’ ” she said. “I understand how scared and divided people are. You have to join me in never surrendering.”
“God is real. I wouldn’t be here without my faith,” she continued, before adding that she “never really understood when I was growing up I was so tough, and I think he [made me] so tough so I could survive this.”
She also briefly discussed her 106-year-old grandma Roberta: “She’s incredible, and she’s going to outlive me at this point,” Meghan laughed.
During The View‘s 22nd season premiere last month, new co-host Huntsman, 32, made her debut and took a moment to speak about Meghan and her father.
“Meghan is like a sister to me, and this was the hardest thing she has ever been through,” she said. “Her dad was her best friend, her dad was everything.”
RELATED VIDEO: Meghan McCain Rebukes President Trump in Emotional Eulogy to Father John McCain
Since John’s death, Meghan has remained out of the spotlight — aside from delivering a powerful eulogy at his funeral in Washington, D.C., on Sept 1.
Her speech seemed like a pointed rebuke of President Donald Trump, who was reportedly asked by the McCain family not to attend the services prior to the Arizona senator’s death. (Trump, 72, infamously questioned John’s record as a military hero.)
“The America of John McCain is generous and welcoming and bold,” Meghan said. “She is resourceful and confident and secure. She meets her responsibilities, She speaks quietly because she is strong. America does not boast because she has no need to. The America of John McCain has no need to be great again because America was always great.”
The View airs weekdays (11 a.m. ET) on ABC.
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