North Bethesda, MD (May 12, 2005) – Three years after the senseless death of James L. "Sonny" Buchanan during the Washington D.C. area sniper attacks, others will have an opportunity to celebrate his life. On Thursday, May 12, former Washington Post columnist Bob Levey will serve as master of ceremonies for a formal dedication of a memorial plaque and garden for "Sonny" Buchanan in a ceremony that will take place at the site where Sonny lost his life. The dedication will be held just across the street from White Flint Mall on Huff Court, adjacent to Fitzgerald Auto Mall, beginning at 11:30 a.m.
Sonny Buchanan owned a landscaping business. He was also an amateur poet and volunteer who worked with underprivileged children at the Boys and Girls Club of Greater Washington. Buchanan was a frequent 'visitor' to the site of his memorial whether cutting the lawn at Fitzgerald's Auto or selling Christmas trees for the Boys and Girls Club in the parking lot of White Flint. On October 3, 2002, Buchanan was shot while mowing the lawn at Fitzgerald Auto on Huff Court, the second victim of convicted snipers John Muhammad and Lee Boyd Malvo.
The memorial garden will represent both the richness of Sonny's life and the void created by his death for those who knew him. The James L. "Sonny" Buchanan Garden will serve as a constant reminder of Sonny's respect for nature and his zest for life. A gold etched commemorative plaque illuminating Sonny's poetry is mounted to a black granite stone amidst a garden of a combination of wild grasses and flowering plants. Located on Huff Court, a public access street adjacent to both White Flint and Fitzgerald Auto, the garden will be open year 'round.
"While you can never truly capture the essence of a person's life on a tablet, the memorial plaque will serve to remind everyone of Sonny's passion, his heart and, most important of all, his dreams," says White Flint's General Center Manager, Desharri Beverley. "The owners of White Flint, Lerner Enterprises and The Tower Companies, feel blessed to have been touched by Sonny Buchanan and to have witnessed his outpouring of warmth and generosity. We hope that this small testimony shall serve as a reminder of what is good in mankind," added Alan H. Gottlieb, Vice President of Lerner Corporation, the management company of White Flint.
The Sonny Buchanan memorial garden dedication is open to the media. To RSVP, or for additional information, please contact Steve Winter of Brotman–Winter–Fried Communications at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at (703) 534-4600 x 205.