The backpack is proudly made in the USA.

It is constructed of tough navy-blue canvas to stand up to the Minnesota ice and snow. It’s the kind of bag you can take with you wherever you go: to college, the office, or into the wilderness. In an outdoors-loving city like Duluth, hundreds of people carry the same backpack.

From the outside, this backpack looks like all the others.

From the outside, you cannot see the fifty pounds of metal, shrapnel, black powder, and wires contained within.

From the outside, you cannot see hatred, but that is what the backpack actually holds.

At 12:32 p.m. on the third Saturday in June—marathon day—the contents of the navy-blue backpack will receive their awakening signal. The signal will come via radio waves and be transmitted to a cell phone taped to the handle of the eight-quart pressure cooker within.

Everything that happens next will take no more than a millisecond. Once started, the process cannot be stopped. It is basic physics.

The cell phone sends an electrical impulse to a blasting cap.

The blasting cap, wired through the lid of the pressure cooker to the supply of black powder, triggers an explosive reaction.

The gases of the explosion expand under pressure until their outward force exceeds the structural integrity of the pressure cooker.

The pressure cooker shatters.

Thousands of ball bearings and nails launch with the speed and force of bullets shot from a gun. They will maim or kill anyone in their path. In that millisecond, lives will change.

You cannot stop physics.

You can only stop hatred.


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