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Jenna Bush Hager reveals personal connection to Nashville shooting victim

The Today star responded to the school shooting at the Covenant School with her co-star Hoda Kotb

Jenna Bush Hager on the Today Show with Hoda Kotb

Jenna Bush Hager is using her platform on the Today Show to express her anger and disappointment over the ongoing gun violence epidemic in the United States.

In the aftermath of a school shooting at the Covenant School in Nashville, Tennessee – the 19th school shooting this year – on Monday, parents, gun control advocates, and beyond have spoken out with their concerns, urging politicians to better ensure their childrens' saftey.

During Tuesday's episode of 4th Hour with Hoda and Jenna, the host, along with co-star Hoda Kotb, discussed their heartbreak over the tragedy, and Jenna revealed her personal connection to one of the victims.

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She told her co-star: "I have a friend in Nashville, so I knew of one of the little girls, who is nine, who went to school yesterday, and who didn't get to come home."

Jenna then said: "So when Henry [Hager] came home from work, I said, 'God, did you see this?' and I had to whisper, because I have a nine-year-old upstairs, who was doing her homework. And the thought that any of us could send our children on the buses, or walking, or drop them off at carpool, and not get to hug them again, is just beyond."

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The longtime Today host and daughter of former President George W. Bush has three kids with her husband Henry, who she married in 2008. They share Mila, nine, Poppy, seven, and Hal, three, and they recently moved out of New York City and into a Connecticut home.

Hoda then reiterated the same fears over losing a child to gun violence – the leading cause of death for children in the US – telling Jenna: "We've all had the fear for a minute of losing sight [of our children] and how you think that's the last moment."

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She added: "To imagine those parents, lined up, going into that school thinking like, 'Is my child going to run to me?' There were mothers banging on buses screaming their kids' names," and, revealing that she also had a friend in the area, she further said: "She said they were screaming because they had to find their child."

Jenna Bush Hager with her daughter Mila on the Today Show© Getty
Jenna's eldest daughter, Mila, is also nine years old

Jenna also said: "Forget politics. Isn't every mom and dad sitting there thinking, 'What is happening to this?' Let's not fail our kids."

The shooting in Nashville, the 139th in the less than 100 days of 2023, claimed the lives of three nine-year-olds as well as of three adults in their 60s.

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