UPDATE: European Union Ambassador Speaks in San Angelo After Syrian Attacks
UPDATE: 8:51 p.m.
"Things will happen and we have to just dig in for the long haul and not let the terrorists terrorize us into changing our way of life," says the European Union Ambassador to the United States on his visit to San Angelo. Many say his visit couldn't have come at a better time after the deadly attacks in Paris on Friday.
All throughout the day, Ambassador David O'Sullivan answered questions giving the European perspective on current events and especially the Paris attacks. His message, all along, was do NOT be afraid.
On the heels of the explosions heard in paris Friday, today, hundreds of Fort Concho Elementary students could hear a canon explosion, symbolizing a visit and a union of countries.
"Part of American that you perhaps Europeans don't get to see very often is the west this is the stuff of Western movies," says Ambassador O'Sullivan about his visit. He says three to four days of each month he tries to see new parts of the country, landing him in San Angelo for the day, and he wasn't the only visitor to the area.
"It's a wonderful great beautiful day," says Midland City Councilman John B. Love III, "different cultures, different countries, different people are coming together to share thoughts and ideals and i think thats really wonderful."
"I think the economic and commercial ties between Texas, the US and Europe are something that I'd also like to emphasize," says the ambassador.
"Oh, the Ambassador O'Sullivan," says Former Midland City Councilman Michael Trost, "oh my goodness, he's an intelligent man and he's obviously very accommodating because this is not an easy thing to do."
While Ambassador O'Sullivan encourages the support of an upcoming trade agreement intended to boost business and make it easier and simpler for both sides of the Atlantic, questioning today mostly circled around the massacre in France.
"I think the first thing is we should not give in to the tactics of the terrorists which is to make us panic to make us overreact to become hostile to certain people in our societies to exploit divisions," says the ambassador. He says the divisions are recruiting tools for the terrorists. On the other hand, a division, or rather distinction, he does want to see is between members of ISIS and refugees. "Not for me to tell the American people how they want to manage this and how many refugees they want to bring or whether they want to bring any refugees but I would just point out and I think it is important that the American people understand this, the process by which you select the people who eventually would be granted resettlement in the United States is extremely rigorous."
All day, the ambassador stuck to his message: victory against the terrorists is NOT being afraid, to live.
The European Union Ambassador to the United States, David O'Sullivan, is sitting in on the San Angelo Standard Times Editorial Board Meeting. He'll also be heading to Fort Concho. He says a few days of every month he likes to travel to different parts of the country to get a feel of the different areas.
Midland City Council Member John B. Love III is in the area and will be doing the walking tour with the ambassador.
O'Sullivan says it was deeply shocking what happened in Paris and he says deep sympathy goes out to the victims, the people injured and those in France.
"The first thing we need to understand is terrorism is about terrorizing, and it's about making people feel afraid [...]" he says about the next step for Americans and Europeans. "The first thing we must do to not give the terrorists victory is not to be frightened and not to be panicked because in fact we have very good security services in America."
He says it's been moving to see the support of Americans. Many are saying in the wake of the deadly Paris attacks, the visit couldn't have come at a better time.