Photography Alan Diaz Recalls Elian Gonzalez


Winning the Pulitzer Prize for photography is sort of a double edged sword.  On one hand, you've achieved an amazing honor.  On the other, you probably witnessed something that you'll never forget.  Maybe it was a horrible natural disaster, or an assassination.  In the case of Alan Diaz, it was the cry of a little boy ten years ago.

No matter what side you take on the immigration issue, your heart had to go out to the six year old Elian, as did the heart of Alan Diaz.  Diaz spent months on assignment with the Gonzalez family, and had never spoken a word to Elian before the day the house was raided by federal agents.

"I told the boy, in Spanish, that nothing's happening. It's going to be all right," said Diaz in a radio interview earlier this week.  I knew I was lying to him. That's a terrible thing to do with a child. I knew what was going to happen."

Moments later, he snapped his prize winning photograph of a border patrol agent with his gun pointed towards the crying boy.  "I have four kids of my own," said Diaz. "I've heard my children cry because of tantrums. I've heard them cry because they are sad. I've heard them cry because they are hungry...The cry I heard that day I had never heard in my life.  A cry like that will haunt anyone forever."