Chicago Lighthouse for the Blind Produces 9/11 Memorial Clocks - KMSP-TV

Chicago Lighthouse for the Blind Produces 9/11 Memorial Clocks


For some of us, time can often pass too quickly. Next month -- it will be ten years since the September 11 attacks.

FOX Chicago News has a behind the scenes look at a one of a kind piece of memorabilia that's being made right here - on the city's southwest side.

Debbie Rodriguez has been making clocks by hand for 17 years. What makes her work unique is that Debbie is legally blind.

Despite her years of experience, her job just got a little bit tougher.

For the last few months, Rodriguez and two co-workers at the Chicago Lighthouse for the Blind have been assembling clocks designed to remember the 9/11 attacks.

“Instead if the regular face of the clock that says 9, 12, 3 and 6,” clock designer Angelos Theotokatos said, “it says 9, 11, 01, New York.”

“It becomes a conversation piece to begin with,” Theotokatos said. “People look at and first thing they say, if they catch it, is ‘Where's the 12?’”

63-year-old Theotokatos is a semi-retired restaurant owner from Arlington Heights who came up with the idea for this memorial clock.

“I thought that the best way to remember 9/11 is - through the uses of a clock,” Theotokatos said. “You look at the clock on an every day basis so you'll never forget 9/11.”

While Theotokatos has been making these clocks for only a few months, the idea came to him years before.

“I got it right after 9/11. But I listened to the people who were telling me that people don’t want to remember 9/11,” Theotokatos said. “People are always going to remember 9/11. It is a very important day in our history.”

So with the help of Rodriguez and the rest of the production staff at the Chicago Lighthouse, Theotokatos' idea has become a reality. The lighthouse is shipping the 9/11 clocks across the country.

“We've got three variations of the clock,” Chicago Lighthouse VP Jean Claude Kappler said. “One for New York, one for flight 93, and one for the Pentagon as well.”

“Through proper training, people can effectively produce w/o having all of their sight,” Kappler said. “Quite a few of the elements are repetitive movements. Once you get that down pat you can do that with accuracy and with quality.”

For this Greek immigrant who moved here when he was just 19, the clock is his way of giving back to his adopted country.

He donates 40 percent of his sales to charity, and buyers can stipulate which charity gets the money.

These clocks are only sold online at 9/11 Clocks Online.


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