Photos and Commentary by Kaylene Holman
On October 27, 1999 sixteen year old Beverly Student, Andrew Cesa was killed by a commuter train traveling northbound towards Newburyport. Cesa was taking a short cut home along the tracks, by Kittridge Crossing on Cabot Street. He was walking home from work with his headphones on around 6:15 at night. He observed a train heading south and jumped to the other side oblivious to an oncoming northbound train. After his death, a sign was put up by the family he left behind to warn others to stay off the tracks.
This memorial is important because not only is it a reminder of a high school student killed by a train, but a warning to people, especially teenagers, to not walk the railroad tracks. The sign symbolizes Andrew Cesa’s mistake and the consequences his actions left behind. It is a direct warning portraying the danger and the real threat of walking along the railroad tracks. This memorial also symbolizes destructive decisions and actions taken by teens around the globe. This one incident in our city of Beverly hits home for young citizens that railroad tracks do not pose a serious threat.
The intersection of this commemorative is between this small simple sign and the huge train network along with destructive choices made by teens. Everyday thousands of people witness this small sign while on their way home, to work or just out and about. People traveling via train, automobile, or by foot pass by Kittridge Crossing. They are reminded of a common decision turned into a deadly mistake made by a teenager who was carrying on his normal routine of life.
The memory of Andrew Cesa and the actions he took that night in 1999 will be carried through time. Every year thousands of teens die needlessly, and every year memorials like this one prevent other teens’ death. Even though Andrew Cesa died 5 years ago, this memorial at Kittridge Crossing keeps his death and warning to stay off the tracks very much alive. The memorial not only symbolizes the death of Cesa, but the many teenage deaths caused by senseless actions, and how quickly can be swept away.