AMHERST, NY (WKBW) — On March 5, 2010, Alan Dikcis lost his life in Afghanistan when he was 21 years old.
Ever since, his mother, Gricela “Gigi” Dikcis has made sure every fallen soldier's grave at White Chapel Cemetery, on Niagara Falls Boulevard, has a flag for Memorial Day.
“It’s usually about 4,500 flags, so it’s a huge effort that she does, and I just want to applaud her for that,” Niagara County Legislator Jesse Gooch said. “Her son is around her and he’s smiling.”
Gooch said Gigi usually begins her mission on Wednesday and is done by the Friday before Memorial Day. He said has gotten to know Gigi and said nothing would stop her from completing the task.
"She used to live in the area, but she moved to South Carolina, and she drove all the way out here to do this,” Gooch said.
Now, Eagle Scouts are involved in making sure all the flags are placed by Memorial Day weekend. Evelyn Majewski, an Eagle Scout, said she has been helping with flags for years and it’s an important part of being a troop-member.
"These people [soldiers] did their job. This is my job. It’s nice to know you made someone's day, you made a change, but this is my job,” Majewski said.
Majewski is part of troop 824, and she said this experience brings the fallen soldiers to life.
“It just makes me realize that these people didn't know me at all, and they fought and died for me,” Majewski said.
She said she wants people driving by to see the flags and take a moment to reflect.
"One person in one family made a difference for all the people passing by and everyone here,” Majewski said. “Which I think is very important."
Gooch said Gigi reminds him and many others why we have Memorial Day.
"A lot of people think barbeque, cookouts,” Gooch said. “But it's really about paying respects to our fallen heroes."
Troop 824 added this act of service to their calendar and will be placing flags each year for many to come.