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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Journalist's Father Was On Plane

One of the passengers aboard the first plane to slam into the World Trade Center on Tuesday was the father of David Filipov, the Moscow correspondent for the Boston Globe.

Alexander Filipov, 70, of Concord, Massachusetts, had planned to take a Delta flight from Boston to Los Angeles that morning and at the last minute switched flights.

"He called my Mom from the American Airlines lounge to say that he was on the American Airlines flight," said David Filipov.

So when the news came that American Airlines Flight 11 had exploded into the World Trade Center, David Filipov's mother understood what that meant and notified her three sons.

"My Mom sent me an e-mail of all things because she couldn't get through," said Filipov.

Since then, Filipov has seen the video footage of his father's plane hitting the twin towers. "That's surreal and hard," he said Thursday. "You don't expect to see your father's death played on national television over and over again."

Filipov said the family was coming to terms with its loss at a time of national tragedy.

"Our own personal tragedy is intermeshed with the larger picture at this point."

Filipov said he has no desire for revenge against the terrorists, and he fears that if the United States retaliates more innocent people could be killed. "I certainly do not want my father's death to amount to that," he said.

"I never thought it would be like this. My parents are in the safe place. I go to the places that are more dangerous. Here I am stuck in Moscow wondering how to get to my family on the front line," Filipov said.

He had not been able to fly to the United States because the airports were closed following the attacks, but hoped to get out Friday.

Filipov, 38, once a reporter at The Moscow Times, has been working in Moscow for about a decade and has covered Chechnya and other hot spots.

He last saw his father at a surprise party for his 70th birthday in April.

Alexander Filipov, whose father was Serbian, was a retired engineer who still worked as a consultant for a company that produces equipment to measure vibration in aircraft.

He also is survived by sons Allan, 41, and Jeff, 36.

He and his wife, Loretta, would have celebrated their 44th wedding anniversary Friday.