Friday, March 8, 2002 | 10:43 a.m.
A Las Vegas Sun photo of a girl waving a flag at a candlelight vigil on Sept. 12 has won a National Headliner Award.
The photo by Ethan Miller had already received worldwide recognition, appearing in newspapers from London to Hong Kong and on the cover of Newsweek's special issue on the attacks.
It portrays 4-year-old Alana Milawski sitting on her father's shoulders at the Thomas & Mack Center, above a crowd of adults whose downcast eyes emphasized their grief. Her arms stretched wide, she waved the American flag and lifted her eyes skyward as if beseeching the help of a higher power.
"This is a beautiful feature photo that expresses the patriotism that is so prevalent after the attacks on Sept. 11," the judges wrote.
"The little girl waving the American flag above a very ethnically diverse crowd just screams, 'This is what America is all about.' "
Miller will receive the national award, sponsored by The Press Club of Atlantic City, in May in Atlantic City. Last year's winners in the photo categories included photographers from the Los Angeles Times, the San Diego Union-Tribune and the Dallas Morning News.
"To win such a prestigious award is quite humbling," Miller said. "I knew when I took the photo at the vigil outside the Thomas & Mack Center it was a strong image, but it did surprise me how many people told me how much it affected them.
"I still get messages about it today, almost six months later. It's a nice thing to be able to get the national recognition for the Sun."