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New Veterans Plaza dedicated to fallen Marine

July 31, 2018

The new Los Altos Rotary Veterans Plaza at Foothill College will forever be a reminder of “service above self.” The Rotary Club's motto is reflected in the Foothill College community and in the life of Matthew Manoukian. 
On July 25, the Foothill community, the Los Altos Rotary Club and veterans gathered in the new plaza for the ribbon cutting and dedication ceremony. The Rotary Club spent countless hours fundraising for the construction of the plaza. In 90 days the area was transformed.
What started as an idea from a former Rotary president back in 2011 was unveiled and dedicated in memory of U.S. Marine Corps Captain Matthew P. Manoukian.  He died in the line of duty August 10, 2012, while serving during Operation Enduring Freedom in the Sangin District of Afghanistan.
Matthew is remembered for his service and for his unwavering appreciation for education, according to his mother Associate Judge Patricia Manoukian, who spoke at the dedication ceremony.
“He valued education and he counseled all of his marines to carry on their education, to get their bachelor degrees, to prepare themselves to go out and serve the world,” Patricia said addressing the crowd at the ceremony.  “After he was killed we were at many events throughout the United States and we had a number of marines who served with our son come up to us and say, ‘Your son told me to go to school'.”
Judge Peter Manoukian, father of Matthew, said the Foothill community, one he experienced as a student from 1968 to 1970, gives him great joy.
Foothill currently serves about 650 veterans.
“This is the home of the brave. What Rotary has done for Foothill is make a home for the brave, for our veteran students,” Nguyen said.
For more information about the Veterans Resource Center, visit