Photo courtesy of the Tompkins County Veterans Committee Facebook page

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ITHACA, N.Y. — The 96th annual Tompkins County Veterans Day parade is Sunday November 8, 2015 at 2:00 PM.

Line up is at 1:00 PM on Titus Avenues and will step off onto South Cayuga Street, heading north making a left onto West State Street. The parade ends at the VFW Post 961. There will be seating for Veterans in front of the VFW. Refreshments will be served at the VFW Post 961 after the parade.


The Parade will start on South Cayuga Street at the intersection of North Titus Avenue and head north on Cayuga Street, turning left and heading west on West State Street. The Parade route ends at the VFW Post 961 on West State Street. There will be a special viewing platform for veterans on West State Street, opposite the VFW.

Photo courtesy of the Tompkins County Veterans Committee Facebook page

2015 Parade Grand Marshall is Joseph Daino



Mr. Daino was born and raised in Ithaca. There is where his family purchased the Lehigh Valley House Restaurant in 1936, and where he started his first job as a waiter. It was also where he first became interested in flying. Instructors and pilots from the local airport were regulars at the restaurant and would talk of their experiences with him.

During his sophomore year at Cornell he joined the government’s CPT- Civilian Pilot Training. The program allowed him to gain 40 hours of flying time and earn his private license. Joe went on to complete his pilot training at Parks Air College in St. Luis (primary), Good Fellow Field in San Angelo, Texas (basic) and finish at Ellinton Field in Houston, Texas (advanced).

He was appointed to the United States Air Corps in September of 1941 and became one of the youngest squadron captains in World War II. He flew for over four years and credits his training as on the reasons he made it through the war. Joe flew what is known as “The Hump”, an area over the mountain ranges of China and India, in efforts to hold of the Japanese advancement.

Joe returned to Ithaca after his service. In 1946 he decided to make the Lehigh Valley House his career. He sold the restaurant in 1981 and now is enjoying his retirement in Ithaca, including spending time with his family, playing bridge, and continually learning about WWII.

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Jeff Stein

Jeff Stein is the founder and former editor of the Ithaca Voice.