World War II veteran’s daughter honors his legacy by carrying on Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day tradition

Published: Dec. 7, 2022 at 5:50 PM EST
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ROANOKE, Va. (WDBJ) - It’s been 81 years since the December 7 attacks on Pearl Harbor. For many of us across our hometowns, its a day of remembrance for the men and women who lost their lives.

December 7 is a day that will live in infamy for thousands of families across the country. For Della Economy-Bryant, it’s a day that will live in tradition for her late father.

“He was a very generous man,” Economy-Bryant said. “He gave out Juicy Fruit to everybody he met, and that came from being in the South Pacific during World War II on the USS English. When he came back, he said he would give something to somebody everyday.”

Suttie Economy dedicated his life to honoring veterans and those who gave the ultimate sacrifice.

Roanoke’s first responders attended a wreath laying ceremony on Wednesday morning to honor the city’s veterans.

“A lot of police officers in the city, especially our veterans, are actively serving in the military and different parts so we try and take some time out from Pearl Harbor Day to lay a wreath and pay some remembrance for that,” Lt. R.A. Robinson with the Roanoke City Police Department said.

Suttie Economy’s mission is now carried on through his daughter by laying wreaths and flowers at the Roanoke War Memorial on Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day.

“Some veteran gave his life for this, and this is what the flag means,” Economy-Bryant said. “This flag is not just a piece of cloth.”

Suttie Economy passed away in May 2021 at the age of 95, but his memory lives on throughout the Roanoke Valley community.

“It was very important for him, for people to understand why we have the freedoms we have today and I believe that wholeheartedly,” Economy-Bryant said. “That’s the reason its also important for me to carry out his tradition.”

The wreaths and flowers can be seen on display at the Roanoke War Memorial downtown.