Recently, Saint Nicholas Catholic School in Los Altos Hills held the ground-breaking ceremony for the Captain Matt Manoukian Memorial flagpole.
Manoukian, a 1997 graduate of Saint Nicholas School and a U.S. Marine, was on his 4th combat tour when he gave his life to save his fellow Marines in Afghanistan in 2012.
Saint Nicholas School was in need of a permanent flagpole in the quad area where the students say the pledge as a school every day, and the parent and staff community thought a new, dedicated flagpole memorial would be a good way to honor Manoukian’s life and his sacrifice.
The money for the project was raised at the school auction.
Attending the ground-breaking ceremony were Manoukian’s parents, Santa Clara County Superior Court Judge Honorable Socrates (Pete) Manoukian and State Appellate Court Associate Justice Patricia Bamattre-Manoukian, as well as Matt’s brother Michael Manoukian, and Lieutenant Colonel Andrew Christian, the current commander of the battalion in which Matt served, who was well acquainted with Matt.
The ceremony started with a color guard presented by the Saint Nicholas Boy Scouts and Daisy Scouts, followed by an “America, America,” sung by the 3rd and 6th grades, accompanied by xylophones.
Lt. Col. Christian spoke, telling the students, “When I think of heroes, I don’t think of sports figures, or baseball players, or actors or Hollywood people, I think of Matt Manoukian. Matt was a real hero.”
Associate Justice Bamattre-Manoukian also spoke. She gave credit to the school for helping to raise her son with the values that her family shared, saying, “It takes a village.” She mentioned that Matt decided he wanted to become a Marine in 2nd grade while attending Saint Nicholas. She also remembered his keen interest in the Saint Nicholas 8th grade trip to Washington, D.C. under the direction of Kevin Kannengeiser, who is still a teacher at Saint Nicholas and was in attendance at the ceremony.
Associate Justice Bamattre-Manoukian presented Saint Nicholas School with a flag that had been flown over the U.S. Capitol, courtesy of U.S. House of Representatives Congresswoman Anna Eshoo. Justice Bamattre-Manoukian also presented a U.S. Marine Corps calendar that features Matt Manoukian to Kannengeiser.
The Captain Matt Manoukian Memorial flagpole project should be completed by February.