By Michael P. Walsh
Special to the Voice
Throwing ceremonial shovels of dirt, Mayor Nancy R. Rossi and David Silver dedicated the planting of a pink flowering dogwood in memory of his brother, former Silver’s Drug Shop owner Edward N. “Ed” Silver, on the front lawn of City Hall at West Haven’s Arbor Day celebration May 2.
Rossi and Silver, who was joined by his wife, Merle, were accompanied by fellow West Haven Rotary Club members Dianne Milano, who serves as president, and her husband, Phil Milano, along with Colleen Bailie, Lynn Fiorillo and Donald Thomas.
The morning event was also attended by Rossi’s executive assistant, acting Public Works Commissioner Louis P. Esposito Jr., as well as mayoral adviser Tom McCarthy, Human Resources Commissioner Beth A. Sabo, tree warden Leo Kelly and former Councilwoman Gail S. Burns, D-10.
Rossi observed the special occasion, held at Main Street and Campbell Avenue, by reading a mayoral proclamation declaring Arbor Day in the city and unveiling a plaque at the base of the new tree in honor of Ed Silver.
The tree species, native to eastern North America, “is commonly planted as an ornamental in residential and public areas because of its showy bracts and interesting bark structure,” Rossi said.
“Trees in our city increase property values, enhance the economic vitality of business areas, and beautify our community,” Rossi said. “Trees, wherever they are planted, are a source of joy and spiritual renewal.”
Ed Silver, who died Oct. 28, 2017, at age 92, operated Silver’s Drug Shop for more than 50 years on the opposite corner of City Hall. The popular drugstore was founded by his father, pharmacist William H. Silver, in 1919.
After his father died, Ed Silver took over the store when he was in his 20s and was later joined by his brother.
After Ed Silver retired, David Silver’s son, Scott, helped run the drugstore, which had a luncheonette that served about 500 people a day until 1982. The store closed in 2006.
Arbor Day was founded in 1872 by Julius Sterling Morton in Nebraska City, Nebraska.
By the 1920s, each state had enacted public laws mandating an Arbor Day observance. The customary observance is to plant a tree.
On the first Arbor Day, April 10, 1872, more than 1 million trees were planted.