BEDFORD, Va. -

Friday’s D-Day ceremony ended with a special tribute to the Bedford Boys, the 19 soldiers from Bedford who lost their lives during the D-Day invasion.

The D-Day Memorial unveiled a new statue called "Homage" that will now be a permanent fixture at the monument.

The bronze sculpture depicts a soldier with his eyes closed, looking down and paying respect at the makeshift grave of a fallen comrade.

Bedford lost more men per-capita at D-Day than any other community in the United States.

A D-Day veteran named Ash Rothlein donated 25-thousand dollars of his own money to build the statue.

On Friday he pinned his French Legion of Honor medal to the base of the sculpture.

The medal is the highest honor given to a living person by the French government.

It will stay on the statue forever, to honor the men from Bedford who never lived to receive a medal of their own.

"Every one of them now has the French Legion of Honor medal. Hopefully this will bring some closure for all their descendants,” said Rothlein.

In addition to helping build the "Homage" statue, Rothlein organized efforts to bring hundreds of his fellow D-Day veterans to Bedford for today's ceremony.

Leaders at the memorial believe there were more D-Day veterans on site on Friday than when the monument was dedicated 13 years ago.