June 8, 2011 at 9:37 AM ET
On her emotional last day as a TODAY anchor, Al Roker, Matt Lauer, Ann Curry and Natalie Morales reflected on working with Meredith, revealed how she's touched their lives over the past five years, and wished her all the best.
Surrounded by TODAY staff, co-workers and fans of the show on the plaza, a clearly affected Meredith listened to everyone's kind words and insisted that this is not her final farewell. "This is such a family," she said. "I'm not saying goodbye."
However, she added that she is going to take off the charm bracelet her husband Richard gave her five years ago, the day before she started as a TODAY anchor. Given to encourage and support her as she began a new chapter in her life, it read: "We are with you -- Love, Richard, Ben, Gabe and Lily."
"That's the reason why I'm leaving," Meredith said, referring to her family. "But this is about the TODAY show," she said, holding the bracelet. "So I'm taking it off at the end of the show.
"And then," she added, "I'm going to pawn it." She was joking, of course!
In honor of Meredith's departure from TODAY, she was also treated to a special performance of "You've Got a Friend" by its composer, Carole King.