Hillsborough High alumni hope to restore old clock tower dedicated to students who died in World War II

The hands of time may turn, and the chimes may ring out once again in memory of young men from Tampa who gave their lives for their country. 

"In World War II we lost 143 students in those four years," said Janice Vogt, an alumnus of Tampa's historic Hillsborough High School. 

A clock in the tower of the school was dedicated in 1949 to alumni who were killed in the war – but neither the clock nor its chimes have worked for decades. 

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"And out of respect we want to restore that to the best that we can in their honor," said Vogt.

A plaque honoring students who gave their lives for their country in World War II

The tower was constructed along with the rest of the structure when the school was built in 1927, but there was no clock.  

"In the late 20s, the Florida land boom had busted, we couldn't afford the clock," said historian Rex Gordon. "So for two decades, there was no clock in the tower." 

The community raised money to add the clock in 1949 in a ceremony held on the lawn of the school. The band played and hundreds of people attended. 

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An old home movie found in the attic of an alumnus also showed the flickering images of sorrow and hope. 

"It's beautiful and tragic all at once," said Gordon. 

Downtown Tampa from the top of the clock tower

Part of the film shows two boys unveiling a plaque with the names of the fallen. 

"Those are the twin boys of a fallen [Hillsborough High School] Terrier who never knew their dad," he said. 

The high school's alumni association is raising funds to restore the clock to working order and make the chimes ring again. They have a goal of raising $35,000. 

For more information, email HHSAA.gobigred@gmail.com or call (813) 928-3232. You can also visit their Facebook page to donate.