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United States of America: Made by labor
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The temperatures are still in the 90s.

The calendar says it is a good three dozen days until the start of fall.

Yet there are signs that summer is drawing to a close.

The continuous line of traffic heading east to the Sierra through Manteca on Fridays is tapering off.

Almond trees are heavy with a crop of nuts that are already being shaken to the ground.

The infamous Manteca Bermuda grass is starting to show signs of summer wear and within a month or two will yellow with the leaves.

Labor Day — the traditional close of summer in the minds of most of us — has arrived.

What better time to reflect on our good fortune than a three-day weekend.

Much has been made of the fact that America is different today because of Sept. 11, 2011.

We have looked inward at what makes us Americans and have hailed those heroes among us who serve and protect who can be called up at a moment’s notice to lay down their lives. We understand how precious life is and how fleeting it all can be with the entire world changing literally in seconds.

The terrorists took aim at a symbol not simply of America, but the end product of American know-how and American labor.

Our military might is the direct result of American labor.

American men and women built the airplanes, the smart weapons, the high-tech devices and other military infrastructure that has made the United States a super power.

Labor also transformed lofty dreams into the Twin Towers soaring 110 stories above the earth.

Ideas may have inspired the foundation of America and a volunteer militia freed this nation from the bonds of tyranny but it was labor that built the dream.

Too often we let holidays pass such as Labor Day as simply another excuse for a three-day weekend.

This year, though, we might want to reflect on what American labor has done. They built our interstates, our soaring dams, airports, bridges, shopping centers, power transmission networks, and — yes — soaring skyscrapers.

We marvel at the ancient Egyptians and how they built the pyramids. We also need to look at the miracle that has occurred in the past 150 years thanks to American ingenuity and labor.

Those cars snaking toward Yosemite on weekends wouldn’t be able to do so if it wasn’t for the product of American labor nor would we be able to enjoy the almonds that will come shaking from the trees in the coming weeks.

And we wouldn’t even be able to enjoy that maddening Manteca Bermuda if it wasn’t for a massive system of pipes and wells that labor put in place to keep it green in the warm months or try in vain to keep it from yellowing in the dead of winter.

Labor —  or more preciously old-fashioned hard work and diligence —  is what created the America that we enjoy today with three-day weekends and an abundance of 21st century marvels.

This column is the opinion of executive editor, Dennis Wyatt, and does not necessarily represent the opinion of The Bulletin or Morris Newspaper Corp. of CA.  He can be contacted at or 209-249-3519.