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Fund To Help Boston Bombing Victims Raises $30 Million


It's been one month since a pair of bombs exploded near the finish line of the Boston Marathon, killing three and wounding more than 260. NPR's Joel Rose returned to the scene today and found Bostonians observing the somber occasion with little fanfare.

JOEL ROSE, BYLINE: There was no official ceremony at 2:50 p.m. local time. No moment of silence to commemorate one month since the bombings. Here at the finish line on Boylston Street, it could have been any other weekday. But a block away in Copley Square, hundreds of people stopped by throughout the day to visit a makeshift memorial to the victims.

JULIA LYNN SMITH: I've wanted to come down for a while now, and I haven't been able to make it down until now. I can't even put into words how moving it is.

ROSE: Julia Lynn Smith(ph) lives in the Jamaica Plain section of Boston. She was not downtown on the day of the bombing, but she knows a lot of people who were.

SMITH: My brother was two blocks away, so they're - everyone seems to have a connection to it in some sort of way or another.

ROSE: The improvised memorial is a jumble of running shoes, flowers, teddy bears, baseball hats and other athletic gear, much of it carrying handwritten messages to the victims. The memorial provided some visitors with comfort, while others, like Pat Johnson(ph) of Hyde Park, Boston, seem to be fighting back tears.

PAT JOHNSON: This is my town. I've been here all my life. Angry.

ROSE: Angry. A month later, you're still angry?

JOHNSON: Yeah, yeah. That - it has to be here, not feeling safe coming in to your own town, but, look, I'm - that's Boston.

ROSE: The city did not hold an event to mark the day. Boston Mayor Thomas Menino says that's how it should be.

MAYOR THOMAS MENINO: This one month is about the survivors, how we continue to help them get through their difficulties. That's what should we commemorate today is the families.

ROSE: Menino met privately with more than 100 of those survivors at a dinner earlier this week, and the mayor says he came away deeply affected.

MENINO: The courage they show the families, especially the young survivors, the young folks, I mean, unbelievable. I, you know, they had - they have more courage than the families did. It was just - to me, it was very remarkable.

ROSE: The mayor has been active in raising money to help the survivors. The One Fund Boston has raised more than $30 million so far. Today, the fund's administrator, Kenneth Feinberg, released details of what the bombing victims will have to do in order to get compensation.

KENNETH FEINBERG: The eligibility ranges from the families of the dead, those who suffered terrible - double amputations or permanent brain damage, life-altering injuries, single amputees. There are probably a dozen of those. They're all eligible.

ROSE: Feinberg also administered major compensation funds after the BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico and the September 11th attacks in New York. In each case, he says, a lot more money was available.

FEINBERG: There's a limited amount of money here. You urge everybody to lower expectations. There is not enough money to pay everybody who can make a reasonable claim.

ROSE: The victims will have one month from today to file their compensation claims. Feinberg hopes to begin releasing funds at the end of June, but he is the first to admit that money will not be enough to compensate the victims for what they lost on April 15th. Joel Rose, NPR News, Boston. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

Joel Rose is a correspondent on NPR's National Desk. He covers immigration and breaking news.