"None of us agree at this table on very much when it comes to politics and the world, but we are all sisters here supporting each other," she tells her cohosts.
The new season kicked off back in September, just days after her father's funeral, with McCain taking some time off to be with family before rejoining the cast.
After Whoopi Goldberg announced at the top of the episode that they were "happy to welcome back our Meghan McCain," the cohost was met with thunderous applause and began to tear up.
"I have missed all of you so much, thank you so much," McCain told the women at the table. "I missed all of you ladies so much."
"I have a lot of things to say and this is probably the only time I'm going to get a segment to say it, so first of all I want to thank ABC and 'The View' for giving me this time and I really want to thank all of America for being so kind to my family," she continued.
McCain went on the detail the outpouring of support she was met with across the country in the days following her father's passing. "There were people in the country, all races, all ages, all creeds, out there with American flags waving saluting, praying, everyone," she said, "he would have loved it."
"Everyone came out and celebrated him with love and it made me so inspired that the ideals that my father espoused throughout his career are the ideals of America," Meghan went on. "I think there was a lot of talk of what died with him and I am here today to tell you, it didn't, it is alive and well. I need us to believe in that."
"He believed in American exceptionalism, he believed America is the greatest country in the history of the world," she powered on. "He believed that when your candidate's opponent says something racist in a rally, you push back. That is John McCain and that is what America is."
"I want to start with you Whoopi, my father loved you, he loved you, he really loved you and I love you," said McCain, breaking down into tears.
As Goldberg came over to give her a hug, McCain continued, "This woman has let me cry in her dressing room all year last year. I would go in before the show and she would let me cry on her shoulder." She added, "you are my family and he loved you and he wanted me to come back here, which is why I'm here."
While this was their first day cohosting together, McCain and Huntsman go way back. "Abby, when my dad was first diagnosed, I got wasted with you and I drank so much," McCain explained. "She was heavily pregnant and she watched me down Jack Daniels after Jack Daniels after Jack Daniels and then I threw up and her sister held my hair back."
McCain also has a strong relationship with Brown, who cares for her father, who was diagnosed with dementia.
"You're a true friend, I love you so much," McCain told her. "You are very very very special person and I think you are someone who has such wisdom about taking care of our parents and the role we have to play as daughters, especially to our fathers."
Brown also hugged McCain, telling her that everything that was in her father lives on in her. "This is your moment in time," said Brown. "You are here for a moment such as this. He has passed the torch to you, the mantle has been passed to you and you are the perfect person to carry on everything he began."
McCain also thanked Joy for being "incredible" and Sunny for giving her a place to "hide out" as she took time off and for being an "amazing friend."
"None of us agree at this table on very much when it comes to politics and the world but we are all sisters here supporting each other," McCain continued, "and this is what America should be."
She then felt empowered as she mentioned her father's final farewell address.
"He said we're Americans and we must never surrender and that's how I feel. We can never surrender to what is happening in the country right now," she said. "I understand how divided and how scared a lot of people are and it looks like the fabric of democracy is fraying. Do not surrender, I'm not surrendering, you don't do it either, so you have to join me in not surrendering. I'm still here fighting and I want all of you to fight with me."
"I will say that we're living in a time, some fathers raise their daughters to be seen and not heard. They raise their daughters not to speak out," she concluded. "Raise strong women. It is the only think that is keeping me right now, is how tough he made me."