An important part of America's history is docked along Madison's riverfront, and everyone should take advantage of the opportunity to learn more.

A landing ship, tank used during World War II is in Madison through the weekend as part of a four-city Ohio River cruise.

The USS LST-325, which launched in October 1942 and was decommissioned for the final time in 1999, now serves as a floating museum with a home port in Evansville. The U.S. Navy ship was used in the Normandy Landings at Omaha Beach on June 6, 1944.

Between June 1944 and April 1945, the LST-325 made 44 trips between England and France. The ship is one of only two World War II LSTs to be preserved in the United States.

The ship is an amphibious vessel and is designed to beach itself in order to land vehicles, cargo and troops.

Daily tours will be available at $10 for adults, $5 for those between ages 6 and 17, and $20 for a family of two adults and two children. Children 5 and younger are free.

Based on the number of people who converged on the riverfront Wednesday afternoon as the ship was docking, we expect interest to be high.

Boat tours are about 45 minutes long. Onboard, patrons can see the main deck, troop berthing, tank deck, mess deck, galley, guns and anchor, wheel house, officer's quarters and the captain's cabin.

Tours will run from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

The LST's visit is a wonderful opportunity to get a first-hand look - and to learn about - a vessel that played such an important role in our World War II effort.