Skip to main contentSkip to footer

Jenna Bush Hager's emotional time on Today as she honors late grandfather George H.W. Bush on-air

The Today Show host was witness to a reunion among US military men and women aboard the USS George H.W. Bush

Hoda Kotb and Jenna Bush Hager on Tuesday, March 28, 2023
Beatriz Colon
Beatriz ColonOnline News WriterNew York
Share this:

Monday morning, Jenna Bush Hager kicked off another week on the Today Show on an emotional note.

At the top of the morning, the star led a special segment highlighting military families reuniting with their loved ones, 5,000 of them, after they spent eight and a half months deployed in Europe and the Mediterranean.

The sight of the emotional homecoming was at none other than the USS George H.W. Bush, named after the Today Show host's grandfather, who served as the 41st president of the United States from 1989 to 1993.

WATCH: The Today show celebrates four years of Jenna Bush Hager's book club

MORE: Jenna Bush Hager shares quick peek of stolen romantic moment with husband Henry Hager

Warning of the emotional content ahead, Jenna quickly said as the segment was introduced: "Can you imagine the tears? I have no tears left to give. It was a day I'll never forget."

Not only did Jenna get to witness such a special reunion among military families aboard a ship named after her grandfather, but it was a homecoming of sorts for herself as well. The star revealed that it wasn't the first time she had been on the ship, because in 2006, when she was 25 years old, she attended its inauguration with her family.

MORE: Jenna Bush Hager shares glimpse into her and her children's luxury bedrooms

Among the military men and women being reunited with their families, Jenna highlighted some who were meeting their baby children for the first time. "I will definitely cry, for sure," said Naval air traffic controller Greg Holloway, who met his baby son Vincent for the first time.

The former First Daughter of course noted how special the Today assignment was for her, as she said: "Any mission aboard the USS George H.W. Bush holds special meaning to me and my family,  as it was my grandfather's greatest legacy."

MORE: Jenna Bush Hager's very famous new Today co-host revealed at the start of the week

MORE: Hoda Kotb and Jenna Bush Hager weigh in on Meghan Markle missing King Charles' coronation

She explained that her late grandfather – he passed away in 2018 – joined the US Navy on his 18th birthday, and subsequently became the youngest Navy pilot during World War II.

Former presidents George H.W. Bush and George W. Bush wave at the commissioning ceremony for the Navy's newest aircraft carrier the George H.W. Bush (CVN 77), named after the President's father the former President, at Naval Station Norfolk on January 10,© Getty
Former Presidents George H.W. Bush and his son George W. Bush at the commissioning ceremony for the USS George H.W. Bush

"I know he would have loved to see these brave men and women man the rails, as they get ready to come into port," she said.

Ahead of the segment airing, Jenna opened up about the experience on her Instagram, writing: "The most moving afternoon – welcoming our heroes home. Thanks @photonate for these beautiful pictures of a day I’ll never forget."

Read more HELLO! US stories here. Want to keep up to date with the latest stories? Sign up to our HELLO! Newsletters today.

More Celebrity News

See more