Liberty Weekend 2017 in front of a full house at Orlando International Airport. Greater Orlando Aviation Authority (GOAA) Board Treasurer Domingo Sanchez with Col. Joe Kittinger, Award recipient Alfred G. Harms Jr., GOAA Chairman Frank Kruppenbacher and GOAA Executive Director Phil Brown stand behind one-of-a-kind Kittinger Award
ORLANDO, FL. – Under a canopy of stars and stripes, hundreds of people from all over the world gathered at Orlando International Airport to celebrate America’s 241st birthday.
The annual Liberty Weekend festivities featured a rousing patriotic performance by the Orlando Philharmonic Orchestra. The theme this year, “From Sea to Shining Sea”.
For the fifth year, the board of the Greater Orlando Aviation Authority also honored an American veteran who has contributed to and helped further the cause of aviation in Central Florida. This year the Colonel Joe Kittinger Award was presented to Vice Admiral Alfred G. Harms Jr. for his service as Commanding Officer onboard the USS Nimitz, lead ship of America’s largest class of nuclear-powered aircraft carriers and his distinguished military career serving in A-6 Intruder attack squadrons, Executive Officer onboard the USS Enterprise and as Commander of the Carl Vinson Battle Group.
The annual event, which is unique in the nation, transforms the airport’s Hyatt Hotel atrium into a concert hall; complete with festive 4th of July decorations and a U.S. Marine Corp color guard.