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Utah man remembers living through Pearl Harbor attack

Posted at 5:25 PM, Dec 07, 2021
and last updated 2021-12-07 19:25:11-05

SALT LAKE CITY — Eighty years ago, 3-year-old Mike Rose heard something strange on the Hawaiian island of Oahu. It was the 7th of December, 1941. More than two dozen Japanese planes flew overhead.

“I heard it. I didn’t know what it was, so I went and hid under the front porch stairs,” Rose recalled.

Rose, his parents and his younger brother evacuated to a pineapple plantation. A week later, they returned to their beach-front home to find a large gun and soldiers in the front yard.

“I’m out playing with my four soldier friends and they’d be there for eight hours, and then a Jeep would bring them food. Four more would come in, and they were 24/7 for about three weeks,” said Rose.

Weeks later, they boarded a British ship and left for good.

Now living in Riverton, Rose shared his experience with veterans at the Fort Douglas Military Museum on the 80th anniversary.

"A lot of people died. They were living the life in paradise. It all changed and the world changed forever,” Rose said.

More than 2,400 American service members and civilians died in the attack by Japan.

The events of that day catapulted America’s involvement in World War II. Rose has since written several books on the subject and admits memory of Pearl Harbor and the impact of World War II is quickly being forgotten.

"We came out of that. The world came out of that. Borders were changed. The world was changed forever,” said Rose.