Patrice Lyons: Greetings. I see so many famil­iar faces and so many mem­o­ries over the years. Bob drove me to the air­port Friday, and he pre­sent­ed me with a lit­tle state­ment to make to con­vey his wish­es. But I per­son­al­ly would like to thank the Internet Society for the great hon­or that they’re doing to Bob in rec­og­niz­ing his con­tri­bu­tions. And I think this is such an impor­tant endeav­or that you’ve under­tak­en, and I applaud your efforts here. So thank you so much.

Just a per­son­al note. I have fol­lowed the evo­lu­tion of first the ARPANET, and then they had the two pack­et net­works, the pack­et radio, pack­et satel­lite. And then the inter­con­nec­tions through the TCP/IP pro­to­col. And Bob often got the same ques­tion you did, Steve. Did you envi­sion that then, every­thing that hap­pened now?” And he used to give a very seri­ous answer at first. And then after a while he start­ed to joke about it. Oh, sure we could see all this. Absolutely.” So then he went establishing—actually found­ing the Internet Society in the hopes of social­iz­ing and mak­ing the Internet more acces­si­ble to peo­ple.

But then of course there was the Internet Engineering Task Force. And when he left gov­ern­ment and Vint joined him as Vice President at the Corporation for National Research Initiatives, they under­took to stand up the IETF Secretariat, to actu­al­ly have a for­mal way to move the Internet for­ward. And then you got into the com­mer­cial­iza­tion of the Internet, and the expan­sion to oth­er coun­tries. So many things, so many tales to tell.

Bob couldn’t make it today. I talked to him just before I came. And if he could tele­port here—I mean that’s tech­nol­o­gy for the future—he would have been here this evening, but he con­tin­ues to pur­sue his vision of improv­ing con­nec­tiv­i­ty among peo­ple, and com­mu­ni­ca­tions envi­ron­ments that enable that.

He’s recent­ly devel­op­ing over the last years his dig­i­tal object archi­tec­ture, which is a much more flex­i­ble way of man­ag­ing infor­ma­tion on the Internet. And he is actu­al­ly work­ing with the National Archives in Washington. And tomor­row morn­ing there’s going to be a large gath­er­ing there, and he’s the chair of the tech­ni­cal group to try to improve their record man­age­ment struc­tures. So when he heard about the hon­or, it was hard for him to just say, No, I’m sor­ry. You’re hav­ing this meet­ing but I’m your chair but I can’t come.” So he sends his regrets.

But he specif­i­cal­ly want­ed me to acknowl­edge cer­tain cer­tain peo­ple in his life. First he want­ed to thank you, Larry Roberts, for the role you played in get­ting him into net­work­ing on both the nation­al and inter­na­tion­al stage. He always remem­bered that if you hadn’t got­ten him involved at that time, his career plan after he had gone to BB&N to work on the ARPANET and do the spec­i­fi­ca­tion for the ARPANET was to go back to MIT and pur­sue an aca­d­e­m­ic career because that had been his goal. But you lured him into DARPA. And DARPA of course, the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, played a very big role in start­ing all this—very big.

He also want­ed to acknowl­edge the friend­ship of so many oth­ers in this group that ISOC is hon­or­ing today. And giv­ing the lim­it­ed time, let me just men­tion a few. Vint Cerf, with whom he has found a per­son­al and tech­ni­cal kin­ship ear­ly on, and with whom worked so close­ly on the Internet and Internet-related mat­ters for so many years.

And Danny Cohen who was here yes­ter­day with his son Dakota, and I’m hop­ing that he’s okay. But he want­ed to thank Danny, whose imag­i­na­tion and spir­it were a con­tin­u­al source of inspi­ra­tion and ener­gy for inno­va­tion.

Steve Crocker, whom he worked with on the ear­ly ARPANET devel­op­ments. And Peter Kirstein. Peter’s here, I think. I saw him com­ing in? Peter’s here? Well, Peter Kirstein. Louis Pouzin; I saw Louis yes­ter­day. And Len Kleinrock, whose con­tri­bu­tions are well known and whose friend­ship, among oth­er things, has stood the test of time.

He would prob­a­bly want to cite every­one in the room and con­grat­u­late all of them since their efforts were so essen­tial to the devel­op­ment of the ARPANET and/or the Internet, because a lot of peo­ple played roles on both sides. And on his behalf he want­ed me to thank you all.


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